To the editor:
Recently you published a letter from Beth Anne Mansur captioned “No to nuclear” (Public Forum, March 28). To Ms. Mansur and any others who may believe as she does, France uses nuclear energy to provide 75 percent of its electricity with no accidents, injuries or death.
The U.S. Navy placed its first nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus, in service in 1955 and it proceeded to the North Pole under the Arctic ice! Since then, the Navy has built about 210 nuclear subs. Two have been lost but not due to nuclear accidents. Further, in 1961, 50 years ago this October, the Navy put into service the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise. She’ll be retired in the middle of this decade — with no accidents.
In 1975, the USS Nimitz was launched as the first of the “Nimitz class” nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Nimitz and her subsequent nine “sister” ships will require replacement of their power plants about every 20 years, and the ship’s anticipated service lives are estimated at in excess of 40 years. Currently the Navy has logged about 6,000 “reactor years” of accident-free experience.
Ms. Mansur, to repeat, France’s mortality rate from nuclear power, as is America’s, is zero. Industry journals attribute 20 deaths to the wind energy industry. A Google search says solar power production mortality is about 40 in the U.S. Need I say more?