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I realize my letters on nuclear matters are boring and, even worse, I am beginning to sound like a shill for the power companies. I share Mr. Bruvold’s concerns for the safety of nuclear generated electricity. I also have a concern regarding the cost of solar power. I am no stranger to the Anti-nukes, they paraded outside Sandia Base for all the years I was there. I never did see a WW II vet among them.
Spain is a country that has opted for solar energy and is now in virtual bankruptcy with an unemployment rate of about twenty five percent, the same as the USA in the great depression. France opted for nuclear energy. France obtains roughly eighty percent of its electricity from nuclear power. Japan is restarting its nuclear reactors, as the cost of importing fossil fuels is leading to bankruptcy. A Japanese energy official states, “I do not think we can survive without nuclear.” China has seventeen nuclear plants in operation and 28 more under construction. China will soon be the world’s leader in reactor design. And then there is Russia, with nuclear energy supplying about 20 percent of Russia’s electric power. Further, Russia has floating nuclear power plants under consideration, perhaps construction. Nuclear power is here, with more coming, although not in the USA.
The USA is generously blessed (cursed?) with Climate Change Deniers, Anti-nukes and Greenies, all who want to dictate national energy policy. The Climate Change Deniers and Anti-nukes want to do nothing, the Greenies want to shut down the grid entirely. Quoting a Greenie regarding the coal-fired New England Brayton Point power station: “What do we do after we shut it down tomorrow? Someone else will have to figure that out … we have to shut it down.”
I doubt if Americans can develop a rational energy policy. I don’t expect much from a country that is number 27 in math and science and number one in piffle.