Oil is a diminishing and expensive source of energy, and coal is dirty. Alternative energy sources, including solar and wind power, can only provide 10% to 20% of our energy requirements. President Obama has increased government loan guaranties for new nuclear power plants from $18.5 billion to $54.5 billion, which should give impetus to the nuclear power industry.
There are 20 nuclear plants undergoing decommissioning, and we could construct new 2,000 megawatt units at these sites for a reduced investment by using the existing infrastructure. Nuclear plants have provided clean, cheap and safe power from 104 units. The only accident was at Three Mile Island, where almost all of the radiation was contained in the containment building. Subsequently, the NRC made changes in how it regulates nuclear power plants, and this has significantly reduced any risk to public safety.
We have to address the problem of leaking radioactive wastewater from underground pipes. The solution might be using higher quality pipes or moving the pipes above ground where they can be easily monitored.
Another problem is the disposal of nuclear waste, which has been collecting on plant sites. The solution is to neutralize and recycle the waste. France has perfected a process to recycle nuclear waste, and it is able to generate 80% of its energy requirements from nuclear power.
We need more nuclear power plants to counter the effects of global warming, eliminate foreign oil purchases, and reduce the use of fossil fuels.
Donald A. Moskowitz