The Disaster in Japan
Given the near impossibility of vehicular navigation in the ravaged areas of Japan, I do not understand why airdrops of food, clothing, prefabricated dwelling materials, and other necessities have not been suggested and implemented by our government and U.S. charities ["Crisis Reignites Nuclear Debate," March 18]. Helicopters should drop the necessities, including materials for lightweight, small, prefabricated dwelling cubes, on all areas containing shelters and people. Many will die, and doubtless have already died, of hunger and thirst who otherwise would have survived. The desperate people trying to inhabit their damaged homes should immediately be given the prefabricated alternatives.
CHRISTIE WAGNER Kensington, Md.
Nuclear Energy in America
If an earthquake cracked the Hoover Dam, resulting in a catastrophic flood, would we then dismantle all dams ["Editor's Note," March 18]? If a meteor hit the international space station, causing radioactive debris to rain down upon a major city, would we never again venture into space? If, on Inauguration Day, a sinkhole caused the Washington Monument to topple onto an audience of thousands, would we then dismantle every last tall structure? Progress and survival have always entailed a measure of risk. Yes, we can use the lessons from the tragedy in Japan to make nuclear power safer than ever, but shunning beneficial technology is not a reasonable move. It's my hope that people can work through this disaster with love, compassion, and positive actions, while guarding to keep their rational thinking intact.
BRYAN JAY KOEFF Granbury, Texas
I am under the impression that the U.S. nuclear plants must keep their own waste in cooled underground pools at each individual reactor site around the country because the radical environmentalists won't let the spent fuel rods be shipped across country to a relatively safe storage facility deep underground in the desert. We apparently have the means to safely transport this dangerous waste. After what happened in Japan with the spent fuel rods in one of their reactors, we should immediately begin consolidating all our nuclear waste in one underground location, rather than endangering many folks all across the United States.
RANDAL TOTH Pittsfield, Mass.
It's a shame that the U.S. nuclear energy program has stagnated for the past 40 years as a result of public fear. To put things in perspective, the event at Three Mile Island resulted in no deaths, whereas over one million people have died in automobile accidents.
DAN WAYLONIS Mountain View, Calif.
Time to pull back on nuclear energy? I say no, because we need it to help reduce dependence on oil imports and to cope with eventual reduced supply. We should, however, learn from Japan's lessons: First, stay away from coastal areas and known quake-prone areas. Second, why not use more desolate federal or state land and get lease income from the power company? Third, use only the latest and best technology. Fourth, noting the containment features used in Japan—require double that.
JACK STONE Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
No matter where companies put these power plants, and governments approve them, eventually something bad will result from them. They say these plants are safe, but I can tell you for a fact: Sometime in the future, something will happen. Whether it be caused by mother nature or man, something will go awry. It has happened time and time again. The best way to prevent these nuclear disasters from happening is, do not build nuclear power plants.
EMIL SUGAK Kodiak, Alaska
U.S. Support for Israel
Our government's credibility is not enhanced by supporting Israel's inhuman treatment of Palestinians ["No Words Can Explain the Itamar Massacre," March 18]. Now in Libya, the United States says it has to intervene for humanity. What about when Israel was bombing defenseless people in Gaza in 2008-2009? Instead of a no-fly zone, the United States supplied more arms to Israel. At least quit arming Israel with my tax dollars!
LINDA JANSEN Seattle, Wash.