Over the weekend, I was extolling the benefits of supposed environmentally friendly solar power or wind farms; telling my business minded 25 year old nephew that he should find a way to invest in those businesses. Alternatively, he suggested to me that it is critical to build new nuclear power plants throughout the US. I will say that whenever I hear “nuclear power plants” I think of the Three Mile Island incident. I can remember, during the accident in 1979, that my father made flight reservations for my family to fly to the West Coast and flee Maryland if a total meltdown was imminent. It was frightening. And then in 1986, the horrific meltdown at Chernobyl. The lives lost, the death and destruction. This could happen here in the US. Pennsylvania could have had a ghost town for at least 600 years if Three Mile Island had experienced the total meltdown.
So, as my nephew (a Democrat like myself), discusses the importance of nuclear power plants and as I read Sen. McCain’s proposal that he wants to build 45 more nuclear power plants, I am queasy. We can’t maintain our existing infrastructure. Have we completed all security and technical upgrades to existing plants? Nuclear power provides 20% of our nation’s power. While it may be environmentally friendly in that is does not emit greenhouse gases can we really live with the safety risks? Is my fear and my nephew’s lack of concern a generational difference? It could be. Last year musicians, Bonnie Raitt, Graham Nash and Jackson Browne, activist rock stars, reunited to battle the nuclear power industry on Capitol Hill. This new “NO NUKES CAMPAIGN” was created in part to stir up and educate those who weren’t around during the accidents; those who don’t know of the fear and horror of nuclear incidents.
Am I the last of the generational group who would MUCH rather put the $50 billions of dollars targeted for new plants towards renewable energy sources not nuclear power plants?
Let’s hear what you think….and, if you are for nuclear power, were you alive during the aforementioned accidents and if you were, were you old enough to remember the fear, the destruction? Talk to me!