Say No to Nukes by Ralph Nader

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WASHINGTON, March 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/

The following is a statement of Ralph Nader on the 30th anniversary of Three Mile Island:

After thirty years without a firm order, the atomic power companies are pushing their radioactive, costly technology for a comeback on the backs of you, the taxpayers.

The old industry argument is that nuclear powered electricity will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. With only three percent of our electricity coming from burning petroleum, the pro-nuke lobby is now jumping on the global warming bandwagon. Uranium, they argue, does not release greenhouse gases like coal or oil.

What nuclear lobbies ignore is all the coal and oil that needs to be burned to enrich uranium, to transport radioactive wastes with protective highway and rail convoys, and to provide security since they would be a priority target for sabotage.

There are far better, cheaper ways to meet the electricity needs of today’s generation without burdening future generations for centuries with the deadly waste products.

The problem with nuclear power is that it gets one bite of the apple. Just one major meltdown could provoke a demand to close the industry down by overwhelming adverse public outrage.

Do you know any other industry producing electricity that has to have specific evacuation plans for miles around it, is inherently a national security risk, cannot be privately insured without Congress mandating severe limited liability in case of massive casualties and requires massive taxpayer subsidies?

Indeed, efficiency or conservation, with a national mission, can cut in half the waste of energy, using currently available technology and know-how, before the first privately capitalized nuclear plant opens. One scientist once described the primary output of electric generating plants as “heating the heavens.”

If this insensitive industry cannot be revived by Uncle Sam’s tax treasury, Wall Street certainly has given no indication that private investment would take on the risk. Investment money is pouring presently into wind power, solar and other renewables and this is just the early springtime for these benign sources of energy.

Without Wall Street’s private capital and with rising construction and operating costs in other countries, the prospect for nuclear power being competitive, even deducting decommissioning costs, and the many millennia of waste storage costs, is not there.

SOURCE Ralph Nader, Consumer Advocate


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