The fantasy of nuclear power

March 09, 2010

As a strong proponent of renewable energy, I read "The fantasy of wind power for Maryland" (March 8) and then wondered why it took so long for Jon Boone to inform the reader that the wind doesn't blow all the time. Of course, his agenda became clear: "Throwing vast amounts of the public's treasure down the rathole of wind is to deny investment in infinitely more effective technologies -- such as nuclear -- that will preserve the energy requirements of modernity."

How could the author claim to be a "longtime environmentalist" and support nuclear power, the most dangerous and toxic of all energy sources? Why support a failed technology, which just keeps giving us radioactive waste? Nuclear power is only viable if our legislators force the taxpayers to bail out the industry. What bank is willing to pony up billions of dollars to build a nuclear power plant? Cost overruns are inevitable. What insurance company is going to take the risks inherent in a nuclear reactor?

I would urge Mr. Boone to read the report by John Blackburn, professor emeritus of economics and former chancellor at Duke University, "Matching Utility Loads with Solar and Wind Power in North Carolina: Dealing with Intermittent Electricity Sources." It suggests that solar and wind power, combined with efficiency and other renewables, can succeed in North Carolina. Wind power will also work in Maryland despite the naysayers. I look forward to that very windy day when nuclear power is but a memory.

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

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