Ann Darling: Nuclear power not a viable option

Published: 5/28/2017 11:01:24 PM
Nuclear power not a viable option

In response to the letter writer promoting nuclear power as safe and clean (“Nuclear energy safest source of power in US,” May 23): I lived a few miles north of Vermont Yankee for decades, and I made a point of educating myself about nuclear power and nuclear waste.

What I learned scared me so much that I left my beloved home and moved as far away from Vermont Yankee as I could and still keep my job.

Nuclear power is not green. Yes, it puts almost no carbon into the atmosphere while the reactor is operating. But since when do we only look at what happens in part of a fuel cycle to determine if something is “green”? Haven’t we learned that extracting, refining, and cleaning up the waste have to be considered, too, with any source of power?

The mining and refining of uranium are extremely energy-intensive and lay waste to areas inhabited mostly by indigenous peoples worldwide. The waste from both ends of the cycle is the most toxic substance on earth, and it is harmful to life for centuries.

These new types of reactors are no magic bullet, either. They still create radioactive waste. And safe? Oh please. Tell the people who lived near Chernobyl and Fukushima who will never be able to go home that nuclear power is safe.

Closer to home, tell the people who live near the nuke in Plymouth that it’s safe. And if there is an emergency, the road off the Cape will be closed. I hope they all have boats.

The more nukes we build, and the older they get, the greater the likelihood of more catastrophes. It’s past time to stop thinking of nuclear as a viable option and put our resources toward bringing truly sustainable power generation to scale.

Ann Darling

Easthampton


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