Letters to the Editor

Energy needs

January 30, 2007

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To the editor:

Kansas fought and won a 40-year court battle with Colorado for water rights from the Arkansas River. Now, if the proposed coal plants are built in western Kansas, we would use much of that hard-won resource to generate electricity, most of which will be sent back to Colorado.

This seems counterproductive, given that a shrinking aquifer and near-drought conditions have plagued western Kansas for years. And though the Arkansas water would literally be a drop in the bucket compared with the massive demands that agriculture has for that resource, its use for generating power that we would not use is wrong.

It is true that modern coal plants are much less polluting than those built years ago. Yet, we need a multisource plan for our power needs that is less harmful - that being the diversified use of wind, solar and nuclear sources of power, rather than the current near-monopoly that coal has as our national source for electricity.

The infrastructure and technology are not in place for us to switch over to 100 percent renewable sources of power, yet why not begin to aggressively develop and integrate them into the national grid?

This seems to be the only real way we can meet an ever-growing demand and wean us off our obscene consumption and dependence of finite, and environmentally damaging, fossil fuels.

This would be a logical approach to this problem. Yet more often than not, logic falls to the wayside when it goes up against the status quo.

Steve Craven,

Lawrence

Comments

Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

I would go with Hydro Power over Nuke Power any day.

WE HAVE A PROBLEM: ¢ More nuclear power means more disasters like Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Since 1986, the year of the Chernobyl accident, there have been 200 near nuclear accidents at 50 reactors in the U.S. ¢ Radioactive contamination could spread across 40,000 square miles in the event of an accident.2 ¢ Nuclear power is expensive. The first 75 reactors in the U.S. cost $100 billion over budget and U.S. tax dollars paid for much of it. ¢ Nuclear power provides the material and know- how for nuclear weapons. ¢ There is still no safe way to take care of nuclear waste which will remain dangerous for 240,000 years. SOLUTION: ¢ No New Nukes! Shut down nuclear reactors and phase out nuclear power.

¢ More renewable energy such as wind and solar power. These options combined could meet 40 percent of America's energy needs.

*¢ Increase energy efficiency and cut the massive waste of electricity. VERY IMPORTANT

WHAT YOU CAN DO: ¢ Tell Congress, your governors and legislators that you don't want nuclear power. ¢ Insist that nuclear subsidies are switched to renewable energy. ¢ Demand stronger energy efficiency laws. "The idea that the atom is safe is just a public relations trick." 1 James Watson, Nobel Prize winner
and co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule

Exposing the myths 2: Nuclear power does not produce CO2

Nuclear power is not greenhouse friendly. While electricity generated from nuclear power entails no direct emissions of CO2, the nuclear fuel cycle does release CO2 during mining, fuel enrichment and plant construction. Uranium mining is one of the most CO2 intensive industrial operations and as demand for uranium grows CO2 emissions are expected to rise as core grades decline.

According to calculations by the Ã-ko-Institute, 34 grams of CO2 are emitted per generated kWh in Germany [4]. The results from other international research studies show much higher figures - up to 60 grams of CO2 per kWh. In total, a nuclear power station of standard size (1,250MW operating at 6,500 hours/annum) indirectly emits between 376,000 million tonnes (Germany) and 1,300,000 million tonnes (other countries) of CO2 per year. In comparison to renewable energy, nuclear power releases 4-5 times more CO2 per unit of energy produced taking account of the whole fuel cycle.

Also, with its long development time a nuclear power programme offers no short-term possibility for reducing CO2 emissions.

http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/kyotonuc.htm

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