Does America Need More Nuclear Power?

Readers share their thoughts.

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Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich argued that new nuclear reactors would be too risky; Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander said that nuclear power is cheap and reliable, and that Americans can’t afford to ignore it. Your feedback:

America needs to get back into nuclear power in a big way, but we have handicapped ourselves on several fronts. America is lagging behind the rest of the world in research and development, including manufacturing of the components. We do not have the skilled labor force. And Washington needs to change its attitude and mindset about corporate America and the entitlements given out to the nonproducing public. Nuclear energy will be the answer to our energy problems, but we are in the back of the bus on this  compared to the rest of the world.

BRAD HECK Huntingdon, Tenn.

It seems we have too long kowtowed to various groups who don’t want oil drilling, don’t want coal mines, don’t like combustion-engine cars, don’t want wind power where it will interfere with ocean views, don’t like dams because they change ecology of streams, don’t want fossil-fuel power plants, and, for sure, they don’t want nuclear power plants. These fringe groups have for too long said no to any reasonable solution. We must have tort reform, rein in the EPA, and put our nation on the road to energy independence.

GARY BISHOP Knoxville, Tenn.

Can we transport nuclear waste safely? Can we store it safely? Can ratepayers and taxpayers afford the long-term cost of storage? “No” to nuclear.

WILLIS GREENE Morganton, N.C.

We deployed the first commercial power reactors and many are still operating safely today, providing base-load capacity 24-7, regardless of whether the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. Then we stopped building reactors, exported the technology to other countries, and watched as those countries continued to innovate and achieve national energy security while we continue to rely on fossil fuels for our energy needs. For shame!

SERENA MILLER Marietta, Ohio

If nuclear power is safe, why is it necessary to shield its owners from responsibility? They ask for this because they know nuclear energy is not safe and never will be. If you read what happened at Chernobyl, you will see it could happen again, anywhere.

PATRICIA EISENBERG Tucson

Nuclear must be in our future energy plans. Wind and solar can be installed in a shorter time frame, so they need to be part of the transition away from fossil fuels. In the long term, nuclear can replace coal, and biomass can replace or supplement petroleum-based transportation fuels. Also, few, if any, jobs will be lost in the fossil fuel industries over the next decade, since existing coal plants will remain in operation for many years. Renewable energy—such as wind, solar, and biomass—will only cover growth in demand for electric power until a substantial number of nuclear facilities can be built.

BILL ANDERSON Kingsport, Tenn.

Nuclear power is safe; abundant, if we choose to build it; cheap; and does not require our dependence on foreign countries that hate us, while taking our aid money and using it against us. This is a no-brainer.

JEFF GRIGGS Denver

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