March 11, 2010
Nuclear power's place Re "Nuclear power isn't 'green,' it isn't safe and it isn't cost-effective," Opinion, March 5 Those who profit from nuclear power plants seem to have co-opted part of the media space to continue the falsehoods of "safe, clean" nuclear power. Nuclear power is not safe (ask worried workers at San Onofre) and not clean (when the polluting fossil fuels required for the whole nuclear fuel cycle are considered). It is never cost-effective, as no commercial company will touch a nuclear project without massive government subsidies and government insurance.
March 15, 2011 |
The United States remains committed to nuclear power, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Tuesday even as Japan sought to contain the nuclear danger at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Speaking before a House Appropriations Committee panel that is looking at the department’s budget requests, Chu said his department had sent 34 people and 7,200 pounds of equipment to the scene of the crippled reactors from which radiation had leaked. The secretary, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, reaffirmed the administration’s position that the United States will learn from Japan’s difficulties but remained committed to safe nuclear power as part of an energy mix. “The American people should have full confidence that the United States has rigorous safety regulations in place to ensure that our nuclear power is generated safely and responsibly," Chu said.
April 10, 2011 |
What a strange turn of events. Instead of uniting the environmental movement in renewed opposition to nuclear power, the Fukushima disaster in Japan has divided it still further. An increasing number of green advocates, including some very prominent voices, have declared their support for nuclear power as a clean energy option, even as radioactive water accumulates and the timeline for cleaning up the contaminated areas extends by decades. Can they be serious? They can. The irony of Fukushima is that in forcing us all to confront our deepest fears about the dangers of nuclear power, we find many of them to be wildly irrational -- based on scare stories propagated through years of unchallenged mythology and the repeated exaggerations of self-proclaimed "experts" in the anti-nuclear movement.
August 4, 2008
Re "Obama's next stop: the home front," July 27 The Times reports that John McCain urged Barack Obama to note that France gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear power. What McCain failed to note are the series of radioactive leaks into rivers and underground water in France that have occurred in the last few weeks and the contamination that more than 100 French employees have suffered. Perhaps if McCain had the personal experience that I had with nuclear power, he would know more about the dangers to the public of radioactive meltdowns, cost overruns, lack of waste disposal sites and the risk of a terrorist attack on the plant.
June 19, 1986 |
Soviet Premier Nikolai I. Ryzhkov confirmed Wednesday that the Kremlin plan to double nuclear power output by 1990 will go ahead despite the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. He told the 1,500 deputies of the Supreme Soviet, the national legislature, that nuclear power has been a growing part of the Soviet energy picture in recent years and emphasized "the correctness of such a road," according to a summary of the speech carried by the official news agency Tass.
December 19, 1991 |
China's first nuclear power plant has started operation to help power Shanghai, official media reported Wednesday, without mentioning that it was two years behind schedule and built with foreign help. The 300-megawatt plant in Qinshan, in Zhejiang province on the southeast coast, began generating power Sunday morning, the New China News Agency said.
May 22, 1999 |
An American nuclear power plant recently was the target of a terrorist threat, according to a letter from the head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that was made public by Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a frequent critic of the nuclear agency. Markey said the threat was revealed to him in a May 3 letter from NRC Chairwoman Shirley Ann Jackson. The NRC did not identify which nuclear plant was targeted for attack or elaborate on the incident.
October 24, 1993
Randolph Hafstad, 89, a physicist who helped develop nuclear power. After German scientists succeeded in splitting atomic nuclei in the late 1930s, Hafstad and two colleagues accomplished the same feat in 1939 at the Carnegie Institution of Technology in Washington. It was the first step toward the production and use of the atomic bomb in 1945. In 1948, Hafstad was appointed the first director of reactor development for the Atomic Energy Commission.
September 2, 1988 |
President Jose Sarney liquidated Brazil's main state-run nuclear energy company Nuclebras on Wednesday as part of a drastic overhaul in the country's money-losing nuclear power program. In a series of decrees, Sarney liquidated Nuclebras and turned all its capital over to a new company, Industrias Nucleares do Brasi, or INB, which will come under the direction of a new National Nuclear Energy Council.
December 24, 1988 |
The Soviet Union has scrapped six nuclear power projects because of earthquake danger or tougher standards imposed after the Chernobyl accident, a top Soviet official said Friday. Although official media have reported the cancellation of several projects because of growing public opposition, the list provided by Minister of Atomic Power Nikolai F. Lukonin was the first comprehensive report on the state of the Soviet nuclear power industry.