In his column on June 20th Harry F Themal tries to tell us that nuclear power is still an option.
The proposal to build another 50 nuclear reactors is the dream of this administrations, secretly composed Energy Policy which has yet to be passed by congress
Of course they will not discuss openly the true economics of nuclear power .
When fully analyzed. The cost of uranium enrichment, the enormous expense in the transportation and storage of radioactive waste for a quarter of a million years, the massive liability involved in a nuclear accident, decommissioning of all existing and new plants and so forth.
Each typical 1.000 - megawatt nuclear reactor manufactures 33 tons of thermally hot intensely radioactive waste per year.
More then 80.000 tons of this waste sits in cooling pools next to the 103 US nuclear power plants awaiting transportation to a facility yet to be found.
A recent study by the National Academy of Sciences shows that the cooling pools at nuclear rectors, which store 10 to 30 times more radioactive material then that contained in the reactor core are easy target by international terrorists.
After spending 5 Billion Dollars on the Yucca Mountain facility its safety is now seriously questioned, due to falsification of records by the industry and, even if finally approved, the capacity for future waste is totally inadequate.
But the Achilles Heel of the nuclear Industry is the Price Anderson Act. which must be renewed this year.
The exclusion clause in your Home owners policy "Not applicable in a nuclear power accident" was the incentive given to the Industry almost 50 years ago without which they claimed they could not build a plant, since no Insurance company in the world would insure them.
Several studies on the result of a serious accident by the NRC were commissioned over the years in the hopes of finding better results to report to the public.
The last study in 1982 "Consequences of Reactor Accident Report" know as CRAC-2 report by NRC and Sandia Laboratories lists Salem NJ 's consequences in case of a severe accident as follow:
Early peak fatalities Salem 1, 100.000 Salem 2 200.000
Early injuries Salem 1 70.000 Salem 2 75.000
Cancer deaths Salem 1 40.000 Salem 2 40.00
Property damage Salem 1 $135 Billion Dollars Salem 2 $150 Billion Dollars
Belgium, Germany, Spain and Sweden have decided to phase out their operating nuclear reactors.
It is time we do the same.
Sincerely Frieda Berryhill