Environmental group misrepresented

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An opinion piece in The Augusta Chronicle on March 23 ("A much-needed nuclear renaissance is sweeping the word," by Dr. Susan Wood and Mal McKibben) misstated Friends of the Earth's position on nuclear power.

Friends of the Earth, like most environmental groups, opposes nuclear power. Here's why:

Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were the highest profile incidents, but reactor accidents aren't just a thing of the past. For example, last summer in Japan, an earthquake damaged a nuclear power plant and led to the release of radioactive waste into the sea. Terrorism and intentional sabotage are also threats.

There's also the problem of transporting and storing nuclear waste. The United States currently has no long-term waste repository, and if environmental concerns about opening one could ever be surmounted, the thousands of trains carrying waste to that site would endanger towns and cities across the country.

The third strike against nuclear power is that it is extremely expensive. Each new reactor can cost $8 billion or more and take a decade to construct. That's why the private sector has refused to finance new reactors in the United States for decades, and why the industry is so eager to receive taxpayer subsidies. Clean energy alternatives such as efficiency improvements and wind power are much more affordable and can be adopted much more quickly.

Nick Berning, Washington, D.C.

(The writer is press secretary for Friends of the Earth.)

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patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 04/14/08 - 04:11 am
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Since most radical

Since most radical environmentalists talk only to each other, the seldom see the world in real terms. Worst case scenarios are amplified to "only eventual possibilities". Imagine what they would come up with if they started considering deaths related to vehicles (by FAR the #1 killer in America). Nuclear power generation has a down side, as does any subject. I wonder if the environmentalists ever consider the up side. One seldom hears of the comparison...in real terms.

otpor
0
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otpor 04/14/08 - 06:19 am
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PT, I know I'm going to

PT, I know I'm going to regret this, but...let's hear some of the upsides. And please, no "it provides jobs."

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
9175
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 04/14/08 - 06:51 am
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The upsides, it's cheaper

The upsides, it's cheaper than all of the alternatives combined. To produce the same amount of energy with solar, wind or hydro in the southeast your bill would multiply times 10. No emissions such as with coal and gas fired plants. Need I say more?

Bizarro
13
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Bizarro 04/14/08 - 07:23 am
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I agree ColdBeer! Nuclear

I agree ColdBeer! Nuclear power is the way to go.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
9175
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 04/14/08 - 09:33 am
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Mr Berning, Provide us with

Mr Berning, Provide us with an alternative that is feasible and affordable and then we can consider your arguements. Till then my Grandmother told me that if I didn't have anything positive to say to mind my manners!

DuhJudge
206
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DuhJudge 04/14/08 - 09:37 am
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Have you any idea what kind

Have you any idea what kind of redundant systems are in place to prevent mistakes? I trust the industry and I trust the NRC. And just because there is a group of people that make a living saying "NO" to everything nuclear, does not give credibility to their argument. Three Mile Island , Chernobyl, Japan, ..... this is nothing but "fear buzz." Build more and build them now.

johnsmith
9
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johnsmith 04/14/08 - 09:50 am
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"Terrorism and intentional

"Terrorism and intentional sabotage are also threats." As they are for oil refineries; in fact, German saboteurs were found trying to blow up refineries in Louisiana in WWII... "There's also the problem of transporting and storing nuclear waste." There's also the problem of transporting gasoline. "thousands of trains carrying waste to that site" Actually, all of the nuclear waste generated by the nations of Europe fits in, I forget what, basically a garbage can-sized container. The U.S. generates lots of "waste" because Carter signed an executive order declaring anything that comes out of a reactor is "waste." Actually, only the tiniest fraction of what comes out of a reactor has a radiation level higher than "background" (the level you get from regular old dirt and rocks). We're "containing and storing" rocks, for the most part. "the private sector has refused to finance new reactors" How like a liberal nutjob, to cite the problem his correligionaries create, as an insurmountable obstacle. The private sector is anxious as hell to build reactors, but Friends and its allies suborn politicians and block the approvals. How's the "big lie" working out, Nick?

DuhJudge
206
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DuhJudge 04/14/08 - 03:14 pm
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I was unaware of the Carter

I was unaware of the Carter order, but that makes sense. I mean, it doesn't make sense but it would be consistent with the rest of that Administration. To me the problem is that some very smart people developed machines that can detect VERY small concentrations. I was at a convention one time where the speaker was discussing these detection technologies. He threw a dime on the floor and said that there were machines that could detect concentration levels equivalent to the real estate under that dime compared to the entire state of South Carolina! Now that is SMALL.

SCEagle Eye
921
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SCEagle Eye 04/25/08 - 12:54 pm
0
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The huge amount of money

The huge amount of money invested in nuclear power could save much more energy via efficiency and conservation. For the only public cost of reactors see the Florida PSC Docket 070650 - Petition to determine need for Turkey Point Nuclear Units 6 and 7 electrical power plant, by Florida Power & Light Company. Georgia Power, Duke and SCE&G must be required by the PSCs to reveal the cost the ratepayers will be stuck with - could end up more than $10 billion per unit and there is NO WAY Wall St. is going to take that risk. People in favor of new reactors please submit proof that Wall St. is biting. Warren Buffet bailed in January on financing new reactors in Idaho and is he anti-nuclear or just smart?!

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