Feb. 4, 2011
I would like to thank Nora Ankrum for her excellent January 21 article "AE’s Nuclear Option" [News]. However, it was horrifying to see that Austin is being stalked by nuclear reactor builder NRG Energy. It would appear that once again this zombie is rising from the dead. Looking at the poll that was commissioned by NRG and its partner Toshiba, they seem to have left out some things. They didn’t make mention how much cheaper natural gas is. Nor did they discuss the safety issues of radioactive waste leaking into the air and water causing higher than normal levels of cancers in surrounding communities. Nowhere are the possibilities of accidents or terrorism in transporting radioactive elements to and from nuclear sites. There’s no mention of the very high use of water to operate nuclear power plants nor how that relates to our continuing drought. The poll talks about nuclear energy as clean energy because it doesn’t create emissions. Where is the statement that wind and solar are cleaner? Where is the statement that the waste from nuclear power plants is radioactive for thousands upon thousands upon thousands of years? Where is the statement that there is no safe place to store and contain the nuclear waste? I’d say that given everything that’s misleading or missing, this is a pretty classic example of a push poll designed to elicit particular answers, not an objective survey. From an environmental and health perspective, nuclear energy is an unmitigated disaster. From an economic point of view, nuclear reactors are not considered good risks. The only way they can be built is with loan guarantees from the federal Department of Energy. That’s our taxpayer money being used to subsidize one of the most destructive endeavors known to humankind. Why is the DOE laboring to give birth to zombies? Shouldn’t we instead be investing in clean air and water, in good health, and in energy solutions that make sense economically?
Sincerely, Marion Mlotok