Using the guise of concern over climate change, proponents ask us to re-consider our aversion to new nuclear power plants. But hidden beneath the claims of zero carbon emissions are the same old problems that have stopped any new nuclear plant from being commissioned since the Three Mile Island Incident in Pennsylvania in 1979.

So let’s talk about what’s inside the Trojan Horse.(I quote from a fact sheet by Leslie Lai and Kristen Morrison:

• Proliferation Risk — Plutonium is a man-made waste product of nuclear fission, which can be used either for fuel in nuclear power plants or for bombs. In the year 2000, an estimated 310 tons (620,000 pounds) of civilian, weapons-usable plutonium was produced. That’s enough for 34,000 nuclear weapons of the same type used on Nagasaki.

• Accident Risk – Remember 1986. Chernoybl. An explosion at that nuclear plant killed at least 30 people at the site. Thousands more died of cancer. The fallout reached Scotland.

• Environmental Degradation — The mining of uranium, its refining and enrichment, as well as the production of plutonium, all produce radioactive isotopes that contaminate the surrounding area, including the groundwater, air, land, plants, and equipment.

• Nuclear Waste– A typical reactor will generate 20 to 30 tons of high-level nuclear waste annually. There is no known way to safely dispose of this waste, which remains dangerously radioactive until it naturally decays. And that’s a very long time. (The half-life of Plutonium-239, one particularly lethal component of nuclear waste, is 24,000 years.) Opposition to the proposed Yucca Mountain depository is strong and getting stronger. No one seems to want to store radioactive poison in their state. How many homeowners would like it trucked down the highway through their neighborhood or carried in a train down the local tracks?

• Reprocessing Risk — Though some countries reprocess nuclear waste (in essence, preparing it to send through the cycle again to create more energy), this process is banned in the U.S. due to increased proliferation risks, as the reprocessed materials can also be used for making bombs. Reprocessing is also not a solution because it just creates additional nuclear waste.


Sen. Bennett: US Needs 100 More Nuclear Power Plants

Washington – Sen. Bob Bennett says the path to a clean energy future isn’t by capping and trading carbon emissions, but by building, building, building.

Bennett said Monday the nation needs to construct 100 new nuclear reactors by 2030 — doubling the nation’s current number of 104 plants — if it is serious about slashing carbon emissions while still producing enough electricity to keep up with American needs.

Bennett also brought together three other Republican senators and pro-nuclear energy witnesses to argue for constructing new nuke plants.

"It’s been my experience and my position…that one of the driving forces behind America’s economic growth has been our access to cheap energy," Bennett said at a Republican-only hearing on energy development he organized. "If we’re going to survive in the kind of economy we want, we need to have access to cheap energy."

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