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We Ignore Nuclear Plant Risk at Our Peril

September 20, 2004

"Terror Risks to Nuclear Plants Is Debated" (Sept. 16) is right on target, except that the risk hardly seems to be debatable. We should ignore the propaganda of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the lobbying arm for the industry, and I would question whether, under the pro-nuclear Bush administration, we can trust what the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says.

Then, as the story reports, we clearly see two facts. 1. "The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have continued to warn that Al Qaeda remains interested in targeting nuclear plants." 2. "If an airplane were to hit a nuclear power plant and emergency systems and evacuation plans proved inadequate, worst-case scenarios indicate that a reactor core meltdown or spent-fuel fire could result in hundreds of thousands of people killed or stricken with cancer or genetic damage. An area the size of Pennsylvania could be transformed into a no man's land for centuries."

If we do not want this horrific possibility, we must push the NRC for more safety measures.

William E. Perkins

Pacific Palisades


The airspace over nuclear power plants should be a no-fly zone. Intruders should be escorted away by fighter jets or shot down by surface-to-air missiles stationed next to the plants and manned by our military. With what we learned after Sept. 11, why aren't we taking this seriously?

Patricia P. Everett


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