Letters to the Editor

No to nuclear

March 28, 2011


To the editor:

How can the United States responsibly talk of continuing nuclear power in America? According to a newspaper report, due to the continued leaking radiation in Japan, “The crisis is emerging as the world’s most expensive natural disaster on record, likely to cost $309 billion dollars.”

A nuclear disaster in America would destroy our already weakened economy. We remain billions of dollars away from rebuilding the effects of Hurricane Katrina. We still have the BP oil spill to clean up. It will take years if ever for the environment to heal itself. A year after the spill we are no closer to figuring out what caused the accident. No matter how accident–free something appears on paper, in actuality, accidents happen.

It’s time to stand up and tell Congress “no more nukes.” Construction and insurance costs of nuclear plants are guaranteed by taxpayers, because they are considered too risky an investment for anyone else.

Safe, sustainable energy alternatives are ready for expansion. These contribute no poisonous waste, attract no terrorist threats, will create no grand scale catastrophe in case of human error, but they will create a mountain of much-needed jobs.

Isn’t it better to create jobs by improving our lives instead of creating jobs by cleaning up after the destruction of our lives?

Tell Congress it’s time to be responsible and it’s time to phase out nuclear power. It’s time to stop covering the backs and pocketbooks of their corporate friends, and work for a safer world.


notajayhawk 6 years, 9 months ago

If it's the cost of cleaning up after a one-in-a-thousand (or more) accident that bothers you so much, Beth Anne: How much, exactly, do ya' figure it's going to cost to "phase out" nuclear power?

SinoHawk 6 years, 9 months ago

OP: "These contribute no poisonous waste"

Obviously you are not familiar with the production of solar cells or wind-turbines. Even the most "green" power production methods produce more pollution than nuclear. Each method of power production has drawbacks, but let's not over-hype the dangers of nuclear power.

Wind--kills whole flocks of endangered birds, land-intensive, high cost per kWh, less stable Solar-land intensive, high cost per kWh, difficult to get zoning, not all areas have consistent sunlight, doesn't produce at night Hydroelectric--land intensive, capacity to expand is limited by available river access Coal--less clean than other methods, dangers of coal-mining ensure more deaths per kWh than other methods Nuclear--relatively high cost per kWh, huge capital investment upfront, spent-fuel storage is ongoing concern

I am not an expert, but each method of power production has some drawbacks. The idea that we need to eliminate nuclear power seems silly to me, especially given its track record of success in the US (without a single fatality).

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 9 months ago

Oh lighten up. Ku's loss is LJW's fault? This is Jayhawk country. In a college town, why would the local paper NOT print that school's sports news.Get over yourself.

sallyone 6 years, 9 months ago

Yes to nuclear! it is the way of the future. I bet if steve jobs came out with a nuclear power plant design his liberal lap dogs would be lapping it up!

cato_the_elder 6 years, 9 months ago

The plant in Japan was built in a bad location. It was not damaged by the earthquake, but by the tsunami. No nuclear plant should ever have been built right in the path of a possible tsunami, as this one was.

Of course, that fact won't stop the anti-nuclear wackos from coming out of the woodwork.

Joe Hyde 6 years, 9 months ago

You got that right, cato -- VERY bad location, especially for a cluster of reactors. The inherent danger of this site location was compounded when the builders did not house those critical cooling pumps inside structures stout enough to ward off the battering they would take from a tsunami inundation.

The Japanese pretty much have to continue using nuclear power now whether they like it or not. I'll bet their next generation reactors and support structures are more seaworthy than a submarine.

notajayhawk 6 years, 9 months ago

Big risk of a tsunami hitting Wolf Creek, is there?

gr 6 years, 9 months ago

No to nuclear. No to coal. No to oil.

Hello to rolling black outs. It's the future!

SinoHawk 6 years, 9 months ago

Well said. Don't forget: no to fireplaces as well (as in San Francisco). We will get to know our fellow man well while huddling, cold in the dark.

timetospeakup 6 years, 9 months ago

Nuclear can be done very safely, unfortunately a lot of people that don't understand it have made it impossible to get modern reactor designs approved for construction. Current reactor designs obviously work, and are mostly safe. More modern designs cannot fail in the way the japanese reactors are failing and are much safe, however it's impossible to get newer designs approved by regulatory authorities because they are run by people that don't understand.

Let scientists and engineers that understand how reactors work make the decisions rather than and we'd be in a lot better place that having a policy driven by bureaucrats and well-meaning people that don't understand the science.

Bob Burton 6 years, 9 months ago

When Beth Anne & her friends moves into caves to live then it will be time to get rid all the bad electric generators..

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

Why "yeah right" to solar? Has it ever been used on a large scale? Reason it hasn't been is because of the fight against it by those in control of the other energy sources. Renewable energy scares the heck out of the oil / coal people.

By the way, if you call yourself an American, then he is OUR President.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

There are miles and miles and miles of wind power off I-70.

T Boone Pickens is investing quite a chunk into wind power down Texas way.

With Nuke and Coal power blackouts happen as we speak. So blackouts will be nothing new.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 9 months ago

Spamming your wife's own LTE? Bad form. Are your lawnmowers solar powered?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Benefits of a 20 Percent by 2020 National Renewable Electricity Standard

Job Creation - 355,000 new jobs—nearly twice as many as generating electricity from fossil fuels

Economic Development - $72.6 billion in new capital investment, $16.2 billion in income to farmers, ranchers, and rural landowners, and $5.0 billion in new local tax revenues

Consumer Savings - $49 billion in lower electricity and natural gas bills

Healthier Environment - Reductions of global warming pollution equal to taking nearly 71 million cars off the road, plus less haze, smog, acid rain, mercury contamination, and water use.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Strengthening support for a national renewable electricity standard.

Cashing In on Clean Energy, our analysis of a federal standard that would require utilities to generate 20 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2020, showed that this standard would not only reduce global warming emissions but also create jobs and save consumers money. These findings helped build majorities supporting such a standard in both houses of Congress.

Expanding state-level commitments to renewable energy UCS contributed to stronger renewable electricity standards in Delaware, Maine, and Minnesota and new standards in Illinois, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Oregon—bringing the total number of states with a standard in place to 26. We supplied our allies with valuable information on the design and implementation of state standards through our online Renewable Electricity Standards Toolkit, an interactive database encompassing more than 30 searchable topics ranging from targets to timetables.

Union of Concerned Scientists

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Renewable Energy Solutions

Renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, and geothermal energy are the key to a healthy and sustainable energy future.

UCS supports realistic, cost-effective policies that promote renewable energy, such as a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES)—a policy that requires utility companies to get a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable resources. A strong national RES would reduce global warming pollution, create “green” jobs, and save consumers money.

In this section, learn about state and federal measures that would increase the proportion of renewables in our energy mix, providing substantial benefits to the environment and the economy.


* Connecticut Renewable Energy Standard
* Putting Renewable Energy to Work in Buildings
* Renewable Electricity Standard FAQ
* Real Energy Solutions: The Renewable Electricity Standard


* California Renewable Electricity Standard
* State Renewable Electicity Standard Cost Analysis - UCS Factsheet
* Renewable Energy Can Help Ease Natural Gas Crunch (2004)
* Renewing the West: A National Renewable Electricity Standard Will Benefit the Western United States

OUR ANALYSIS : http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/solutions/renewable_energy_solutions/

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

The argument for nuclear seems to be that it is totally safe ... until it isn't. Until then, however, it is totally safe.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Obama's March Madness by Ralph Nader

President Obama’s pick of Kansas to win the “March Madness” collegiate basketball tournament ended with their defeat by Virginia Commonwealth University this past Saturday. He must know how the Jay Hawks are feeling because he is entangled in his own March Madness that will continue after this month ends.

From his stubborn and dangerous commitment to nuclear power to an unprecedented overseas military operation in Libya, the month has seen enormous missteps by Obama and his administration. Obama's college basketball picks are the least of his poor choices.

The expanding nuclear meltdown disaster from Japan’s cluster of nuclear plants gets worse by the day, yet President Obama continues to reassure the nuclear industry that he supports more plants guaranteed by the U.S. taxpayers because Wall Street otherwise will not risk loaning billions of dollars per plant.


Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

We must pick the most fiscal responsible and least negative impact on Mother Earth. No one ever said any source was free of a carbon foot print.

We should however choose sources that do not emit radioactive waste that has half lives of thousands of years and no safe place to store. Coal and nuke power both emit radioactive waste which is not obvious to the naked eye.

Nuke is not clean or green http://www.citizen.org/cmep/article_redirect.cfm?ID=9720

We cannot run from radioactive waste nor radioactive wind because of no idea which direction to run considering it does not come in psychedelic color forms.

In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy.

At issue is coal's content of uranium and thorium, both radioactive elements. They occur in such trace amounts in natural, or "whole," coal that they aren't a problem. But when coal is burned into fly ash, uranium and thorium are concentrated at up to 10 times their original levels. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste&page=2

Coal power also must financially guaranteed by taxpayers. When something goes nuts we taxpayers are on the hook.

Bob Burton 6 years, 9 months ago

Forget about tax money from wind generation farms, Kansas does not tax them.. The only tax money will come from the new high voltage power lines.. Farmers & ranchers get a one time payment for the llines.. By the way for every billion dollars spent for lines over 300K volts in the 9 state Southwest Power Pool you will get a $1.30 charge on your electric bill.. You can look up the states in the SPP..

thebigspoon 6 years, 9 months ago

In other news:

There were about 40,000 people killed and scores of thousands injured last year in auto accidents in the US. There needs to be a "No to the automobile" movement begun RIGHT NOW and I nominate Ms. Mansur as the coordinator of the new cabinet-level tsarism dedicated to the elimination of the scourge of automobile deaths and injuries.

Back to our regularly scheduled ravings..........

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