You are here: home   Issues   The Desert That Breaks Annie Proulx’s Heart   Golly, nukes for everybody!
Topic: Energy     Department: Letters

Golly, nukes for everybody!

Document Actions

The "innovative" proposal for many small "pocket" nuclear reactors sounds like the gee-whiz propaganda from the 1950s that every modern family would own a personal atomic car and reactors would produce power "too cheap to meter" (HCN, 3/16 & 3/30/09). In reality, it is an attempt to greenwash a failed technology.

One lesson I have learned in my 30-year career is that it is not possible to design a system that will never fail. Despite our best efforts, the multitude of nuclear plant mishaps have been caused by unpredicted failures and human error.

Building these pocket reactors would multiply our safety problems. The federal government can barely provide for adequate oversight of the few reactors we have now — where will the new resources and inspectors come from? An on-site waste repository will still have to be created for each reactor, with high-level waste stored in tanks and pools. Fuel and waste will be transported on public highways, increasing the chances for accidents. Terrorists will have lots of new targets to choose from. We'll have to mine and refine lots more uranium, a polluting industry that generates large amounts of greenhouse gases. Hard evidence shows that radiation leaks, demonstrably causing harm, are happening all the time at nuclear power plants and cannot be completely prevented.

Sounds like an innovation we can do without.

Claude Ginsburg
Seattle, Washington

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  3. The man behind a New Mexico county's fracking ban | Last year Mora became the first county in the nati...
  4. What's killing the Yukon's salmon? | An ecological mystery in Alaska has scientists and...
  5. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
More from Energy
On booms and their remains A North Dakota photographer returns home to examine changes to the landscape.
Efficiency lessons from Germany
The Latest: Mining battle update at Utah’s Tavaputs Plateau State supreme court gives green light to tar sands permits.
All Energy
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone