Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 25, 2004

Exaggerating the dangers of nuclear energy

Helen Caldicott has once again pulled out her bag of accusations against nuclear power that are misleading at best ("Nuclear power still a deadly proposition," Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 17).

The greenhouse gases produced by the various processes related to nuclear power may not be zero, but they are a very small fraction of those generated by the burning of fossil fuels.

As a professor of nuclear engineering specializing in risk and safety assessments of nuclear and other energy technologies, I have evaluated environmental, health and safety issues of most energy technologies in the past 25 years. And I know that many studies, including those by the National Cancer Institute, have looked for any health effects from living near nuclear plants, and have consistently found none.

On the other hand, we know that there are plenty of premature deaths every year from the air pollution caused by burning oil, gas and coal.

If Ms. Caldicott really cared about public health, she would work hard to make sure nuclear power was part of our energy future.

Mohammad Modarres

College Park

The writer is director of the Center for Technology Risk Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Pollution has altered our world, our health

Helen Caldicott is so right that nuclear energy not only contributes to global warming but is a deadly form of energy ("Nuclear power still a deadly proposition," Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 17).

In 1962, Rachel Carson wrote in her book Silent Spring that chemicals and radiation are changing the very nature of the world. One need only look at increasing health problems to realize she was right.

It is time for the public to pull its collective head out of the sand and do something about the nuclear dangers. Until we can reformulate humans so that they do not make errors, nuclear energy should be eliminated.

A simple answer is energy conservation -- which could replace much of the energy provided by nuclear reactors.

Marcia Marks

Bethesda

Too much ink wasted on events of long ago

The issue about the veracity of the specifics of Sen. John Kerry's military record is a mere smoke screen for the central core issue here: During the Vietnam War era, Mr. Kerry enlisted to be sent to Vietnam and be in harm's way and George W. Bush enlisted in the National Guard to be out of harm's way. No further time or ink need be wasted on the matter ("Kerry's Vietnam service record remains hot topic," Aug. 23).

This whole issue should be over and done with. What happened to each of them during their time in the service is a distraction from what really should be the issues on which we base our vote for president: employment, health care, fiscal policy, national security, legislative records, human rights, environmental preservation, and national priorities and vision for the future.

Let's finally get away from the window dressing and hear what is store for us in the future, when one of these men is our president, not what happened 30 years ago.

Jonathan Kollin

Baltimore

Kerry has let others attack the president

Regarding Sen. John Kerry's charge that President Bush is using Swift Boat Veterans for Truth "to do his dirty work," it's funny -- Mr. Kerry seems to have no problem with Michael Moore and MoveOn.org doing Mr. Kerry's "dirty work" for him for many months ("Kerry lashes out at critics of his war record," Aug. 20).

But of course, "calling them off" would violate the same prohibition against contact between a candidate and an independent organization that Mr. Kerry is effectively demanding Mr. Bush violate.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV

Baltimore

Why emphasize rights of felons?

What are The Sun's values? It appears that it gives a higher priority to guaranteeing, or restoring, the right to vote to felons ("Reclaiming voting rights," editorial, Aug. 19) than to guaranteeing the rights of life and liberty to honest, law-abiding citizens -- i.e. the right not to be murdered, raped, robbed, carjacked, stabbed or beaten by felons.

Elliot Deutsch

Bel Air

Sale of Rouse Co. isn't self-serving

I am sure that The Sun will receive many letters regarding Jay Hancock's mean-spirited article about the sale of the Rouse Co. and his suggestion that the sale was self-serving on the part of Rouse Co. CEO Anthony Deering, rather than a sound business deal ("Rouse Co. sale is a big payday -- for shareholders and for CEO," Aug. 22). But I have known Mr. Deering for more than 30 years, and honesty, intelligence and caring for others are only three of his many good qualities.

Although I am not a businessman, in my opinion Mr. Deering thought the timing was right, and that he had found a buyer with similar values to those of the Rouse Co.

I am sure he first considered the effect of the sale on the employees, stockholders and community. I am also pretty sure that Mr. Deering is far more familiar with the late James W. Rouse and his thoughts on the company than Mr. Hancock is.

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