Nuclear energy carries huge risks

February 07, 2011

Ajax Eastman's comparison of wind power and nuclear power is ridiculously focused on nuclear but doesn't acknowledge the huge health and safety risks nuclear power presents ("Wind power advocates full of hot air," Feb. 7). Just looking at the increase of cancer rates around Calvert Cliffs in the last decades and comparing to the rest of Maryland, and looking at the extreme volume of hot water they dump in the environment, shows the potential for a disastrous ending.

With the exception of France, most European countries dramatically reduced the new building nuclear plants and actually shut down many old ones because of the risks and the tremendous problems of eliminating nuclear waste. Nuclear waste contains enough radioactive material to make it highly desirable for terrorists to develop so-called dirty weapons. Setting one nuclear power plant off (i.e. with creative bombing) can easily generate a Chernobyl scenario in a highly populated area, not speaking about the loss of an important power link in the energy network. Protecting nuclear power against terrorist acts is paid for by the tax payers and makes the technology very expensive.

Since the French can't sell their highly dangerous technology in Europe and the Far East anymore, they go to Third World countries or the U.S., where people are less educated or living with a carbon foot print tunnel view.

Good education would tell Ms. Eastman that there are multiple ways to store surplus energy from renewable energy sources and that this technology is cutting-edge with an unbelievable potential for Americans to take leadership in the world.

Jörg Breuning, Forest Hill

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