I agree with Karl Grossman (April 2). Nuclear power is so risky and expensive that not a single new nuke would be built without subsidies and bailouts that may exceed the bailouts given to banks that brought us to economic disaster
The horror of nuclear weapons made it necessary to put a friendly face on nuclear technology. Friendly or not, many nations have made nuclear weapons from the so-called “peaceful atom.”
Dr. Edward Teller was father of the hydrogen bomb. Before he collected fees to promote nuclear power, he wrote “Energy From Oil and From the Nucleus” (Journal of Petroleum Technology, May 1965). It said a fuming meltdown at a nuclear plant could be more deadly than a hydrogen bomb. And nuclear plants do not belong on the face of the earth. He wrote they should be buried deep underground as a safety precaution. This has never been done because it would add 10 percent to construction costs.
The Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Soviet Union blew poisons all around the world, contaminating 400 million people. Today, only one in five children in Belarus is healthy. The documentary film “Chernobyl Heart” showed ghastly birth defects. Our Three Mile Island accident blew poisons for hundreds of miles. Yet our industry is arrogantly satisfied with a mere 10-mile evacuation zone around a stricken nuke plant.
Despite a cover-up, thousands of people were harmed from the Three Mile Island partial meltdown.
New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo petitioned the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to immediately shut down the Indian Point nuclear complex because of inadequacies. He also chastised Entergy, the owner, for its corporate culture of dishonesty.
Utilities initially refused to build nuclear plants because they knew a meltdown would bankrupt them. So Congress passed a federal law called the Price-Anderson Act. This law limits the utility’s liability to a microscopic fraction of the damage caused by a bad accident.
Risk of bankruptcy for a utility was nullified. Victims would be left holding the bag.
It was only after this law was passed, along with massive subsidies, that utilities were willing to build nukes. To protect property rights of nuclear utilities, the property rights of ordinary citizens are abolished.
A fuming meltdown at the nearby Indian Point Plant could easily cause more than a trillion dollars damage. Liability is limited to $10 billion. Victims would be lucky to be reimbursed one cent on the dollar. How do you like being worth one cent on the dollar? Are you patriotic? Do you have but one life to give to a utility?
Nuclear utilities won’t operate nuclear plants unless this unfair law is kept on the books. It proves that behind closed doors, big guns in the industry never believed one word of their own assurances about safety.
Claims made by nuclear promoters violate the most elementary principles of engineering, physics, common sense and decency. See my Website, www.elsidsgreenspace.com, for details. It describes cleaner, safer, less costly energy alternatives.
Some people will do anything for money. In this day and age, that anything is nuclear power.
The writer is a licensed professional engineer