Friday letters: Nuclear too risky to expand

December 13, 2013 

— In his Nov. 8 letter, Mel Buckner promoted nuclear power as a solution to climate change. It would be a poor trade to reduce carbon dioxide in exchange for the risk and expense of nuclear power. Finance and insurance analysts have determined that nuclear energy is too risky to insure or finance. That’s why taxpayers have to take on this responsibility.

Reducing climate change is important, but why use a technology that has had its chance for half a century? Still exorbitantly expensive to build, there is no reason to believe a new reactor would have fewer cost overruns than previous ones. There is also a history of reactors being built for billions of dollars and never producing power (Browns Ferry 2 in Alabama and Shoreham, N.Y.). In fact, site preparations were started decades ago at South Carolina’s V.C. Summer plant for a second reactor that never was built.

It took the Fukushima disaster to make the Japanese pivot. Recently, a new wind power farm started operating offshore from the site of the nuclear debacle. Just as the Japanese people were assured that the Fukushima plant could withstand any kind of natural disaster, we are similarly being assured.

Gerald Rudolph


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