|To the editor:
On Friday, President Obama announced plans to triple federal loan guarantees for constructing new nuclear power plants in America to 54 billion dollars, and to form a "blue ribbon" panel which would try to figure out what to do with the massive amounts of radioactive waste that would be produced. No announcement has been made regarding similarly large investments in the production of electricity from wind, solar or other known cleaner energy sources. Defending the 30-plus new nuke facilities that are currently planned for construction in the United States, the president talked about nuclear power as if it were "safe" and "clean" in his January 27th State of the Union address.
If America transferred the tens of billions of dollars Congress spends on subsidizing the oil, coal, and nuclear industries each year on creating a national infrastructure for producing electricity through wind and solar power, we would move much faster toward the clean renewable promise of the 21st century. Nuclear is the most expensive form of energy production in terms of both construction cost and depletion of fresh water resources, not to mention the extreme dangers of transporting and storing radioactive waste; In addition, despite rhetoric to the contrary, nuclear energy has a substantial carbon foot print due mostly to the extracting and processing of raw uranium. Our tax dollars would be better spent on installing solar panels on every home in America, and on building low impact community windmills, so that people could produce energy right in their own neighborhoods rather than needing to buy it from large scale power generation facilities.
Midge Potts, Springfield, MO