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Nuclear is the way to go

October 20, 2008

Re "The energy challenge," editorial, Oct. 15

Your editorial omits the penalties to be paid for renewables. It labels those who disagree with you as conservatives, when many, like me, are Democrats who understand the problems but are given no voice.

There is a place in the electric grid for solar and wind. But standing alone, these alternative power sources do not provide the reliability necessary to prevent the possibility of interruptions in the nation's electric supply.

As a result, for every megawatt of wind and solar capacity a utility installs, it must provide backup from a fossil-fueled plant to pick up the load in emergencies. Thus, wind and solar farms do not eliminate central station fossil-fueled plants.

If our nation's goal is to make a major impact on global warming without threatening the reliability of our nation's electric systems, then the only practical option is to build nuclear power stations.

It is unfortunate that these peaceful commercial plants are characterized as doomsday machines with no redeeming qualities, as The Times suggests. Other countries, like France, dismiss these fears. The Times should look at both sides of this question.

Leon Furgatch

Granada Hills

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