Monday, April 27, 2009

Thirty Years Later

Oil is oppressively visible. Radiation is not. Likewise, the damage done at Three Mile Island has been almost invisible compared to the Exxon Valdez. And for that, it is all the more sinister, particularly since nuclear energy is now being touted as a “clean” source of energy to counter global warming—a perspective that ignores the plethora of other environmental costs and dangers it carries with it. “We should avoid mitigating one global harm by aggravating another,” warned Geoffrey Fettus, Senior Project Attorney with the NRDC, who went on to stress the full life-cycle economic and environmental costs of nuclear power, from mining the ore to requiring vast quantities of water to disposing the waste—a little detail that has yet to be worked out as the industry enters its second half-century—not to mention the problem of radioactive materials falling into terrorist hands. Still, the illusion of operational safety plays a crucial role in the nuclear industry’s hoped-for comeback. “As the nuclear industry grows with new plants, it wants and needs citizens to believe that no one was ever injured at TMI, and then perpetuate that belief so that no one will ever be injured from the ‘peaceful atom,’” former nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen told Random Lengths.
Random Length News

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