Originally created 07/10/02

Ad in 'Chronicle' is irresponsible



An ad in the June 30 Augusta Chronicle reached a new level of irresponsibility and dishonesty. The ad suggested that areas of natural beauty in the Southeast would be despoiled if the government went forward with its plans to ship spent nuclear fuel to the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev.

Then it suggested that these shipments would somehow endanger the lives of our citizens, and that the federal government had admitted, "untold numbers of deaths are inevitable."

These statements are either deliberate lies, or they represent an unbelievable level of ignorance and irrational fear. Irrational fear of anything - hobgoblins or radioactivity - is silly superstition.

Tens of thousands of shipments of radioactive materials have been made in the U.S. No leaks of radioactivity have occurred, and no person has been adversely affected. The same is true in Europe and Asia. There's no reason to believe this record of unparalleled safety won't continue.

That ad is one part of a well-organized and well-funded campaign by anti-nuclear zealots. What they are trying to do is stop nuclear production of electricity. Their last line of defense is to keep Yucca Mountain from opening.

These people often masquerade as environmentalists, but honest environmentalists support nuclear power because it is the only clean and green way we have of making large amounts of electricity.

It does not contribute to smog, acid rain, heavy metal pollution or global warming.

We trust that our citizens are too knowledgeable to be taken in by such nonsense.

J. Malvyn (Mal) McKibben, Aiken, S.C.

(Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness.)