Nuclear power is safe and necessary

April 05, 2011

After reading Dan Rodricks' "Despite tragedy, nuclear still way to go" (March 27), I am gratified that there are still thoughtful editorials and letters to the editor in support of nuclear power, despite the situation in Japan.

Having had almost everything possible thrown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, there are still no deaths connected to the damaged reactors, proving again that nuclear power generation is the safest form of energy known to date.

Yet thanks to a not always benevolent Mother Nature, thousands of people are dead or injured, and the majority of media coverage has diverted national attention away from the Japanese people's needs and suffering to focus on the "nuclear disaster."

The best way to overcome irrational fear is with knowledge. That, unfortunately, has been in short supply in the media since this tragedy began. Let's focus on the humanitarian crisis and what is required to help Japan recover. And let's take what can be learned from the Fukushima reactor damage to make nuclear power even safer than it already is.

Over the long term, there can be no economic recovery and growth on the scale required without the expansion of efficient, reliable nuclear power. There may be local, smaller applications for other energy sources, such as renewables, but even on a good day these could provide only about 20 percent of our energy needs. Nuclear power is not an option, it is a necessity.

Anne Levit, Towson

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