Is Nuclear Energy Safe? - Part 1

By Levi Anthony - Posted 4/24/2011

Newsweek has this nice chart on nuclear energy.Click to enlarge

But after the nuclear disaster now playing out in Japan, many of us are now reconsidering nuclear as a source of energy. Is this thing really safe? Should we even really have in our midst? Despite assurances from the nuclear industry and its lobbyists that our nuclear power plants are safe, many of us are not so sure now. Think Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester, less than 100 miles from New York City. What if there is an accident, is there a proper plan to evacuate millions of people? From what we are hearing, apparently not. Since 2007, Governor Cuomo has expressed doubt about the safety of this plant and is calling for its eventual closure.

My doubts on the safety of nuclear power and the ability of the government to protect us only increase when I read something like this – It Could Happen Here. According to the artlcle, despite the 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has often been too timid in ensuring that America’s 104 commercial reactors are operated safely.

And the Obama administration is planning to build several more nuclear power plants. In a recent testimony to Congress, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the government is guaranteeing $36 billion to entice private industry to do just that. This is on top of the existing $18 billion in loan guarantees already approved under the Bush administration.

Part 2 -The real dangers of nuclear power?


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