I have always been against Nuclear power. I have yet to hear an argument for nuclear power that makes sense if you really think about it.
Nuclear power is cheaper, really? The Congressional Budget Office reported in May 2008 that the actual costs of building 75 of the existing nuclear power plants in the U.S. exceeded industry quoted estimated by more than 300 percent. The industry, in other words, reported average construction costs for these plants at $45.2 billion (in 1990 dollars) but the facilities ended up costing $144.6 billion (in 1990 dollars). This increased their construction costs from $938 per installed kW to $2,959 per installed kW. That doesn’t include the cost to “store” the waste, which is billions to build the storage site and I don’t even know how to begin to calculate the cost of the man power it will take to guard it for a million years.
Nuclear power makes up about 22% of our electricity and a government study said that Americans could cut the amount of electricity we use by 25% through conservation.
Nuclear power is cleaner? Not really. Even though nuclear power produces no CO2. Only 7% of world C02 comes from U.S. coal, oil, and gas plants; and worldwide, CO2 represents only half of the problem. Nuclear power does nothing to reduce the other greenhouse gases such as methane, chlorofluorocarbons, halons, etc. Increasing gas mileage on our vehicles is a far better and faster way to reduce CO2. What a nuclear power plant does produce are spent fuel rods, which are poisonous and dangerous for over a million years.
Nuclear power is safe? Let’s look at history to answer this one. Chernobyl, 3 mile island and now Japan. 3 major accidents since 1960 (Dresden 1 designed by General Electric was started) wouldn’t be so bad if the potential for a large number of deaths and wide area of contamination wasn’t present. According to a 1982 study done by Sandia National Laboratories, a severe (but not necessarily “worst-case”) nuclear power accident in Illinois would result in deaths in the tens-of-thousands, casualties and latent cancers in the hundreds-of-thousands, and property loss in the tens-to hundreds-of-billions of dollars.
Making tons of nuclear waste that will be dangerous for a million years is irresponsible. It is foolish to think we can safely store nuclear waste for that long. That’s much longer than modern mankind has been around. Just a look at how much the world has changed in the last 2,000 years, then tell me how we can predict what will be safe for a million years.
Nuclear power is big business and they have spent around $700 million on lobbying at the federal level in the last decade. It seems to me that once again our politicians are being bought to push an unnecessary and dangerous business and to hell with what’s right.
Please contact your representative (to find yours go to: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml) and tell them to say no to nuclear power.
Instead of subsidizing nuclear power with billions of dollars they could take that money and hold national raffles to put solar panels on homes and buildings.