Town Meetings/Watershed/Nuclear Energy. Are You involved? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Do you actually get involved in these debates, or do you 'wait to see what happens'? I am 1 mile from one of the most debated nuclear energy plants in the United States, Indian Point. Also on the drawing board is a plan to push a natural gas pipeline thru the same communities that are affected by/benefit from the power plant. What is an activist to do? A)I have many, many friends who are employed at the plant (ie:Silkwood) B)My rent is low because the plant subs our taxes (Silkwood)C)Speaking out does not make one popular. D)The labor unions are backing the pipeline for 3 decades of steady work. Answers: A)Even if the plant closes, there will be jobs at the plant for 30 years-don't get your kid one. B)The Feds will step in because the 'closing of the plant' will leave an economic blackhole, your safe. C)Speaking out does not make one popular-make new friends. D)Your brother, the labor union delegate will speak to you, eventually. Speak up! It's worth it!

-- Kathy (, March 06, 2002


I'm all for nuclear power. If you look at the big picture, all the other alternatives have caused way more damage to the enviroment and people than nuclear ever has or likely ever would. It's a shame so many have misguided thoughts against it. We may have gotten rid of our dependence on fossil fuels by now if not for the resistance to nuclear power. Our enviroment would be much better off. The air we breath would be cleaner. Less wildlife would be displaced or dead. I lived 35 miles from Three Mile Island for 7 years and during the accident they had that was blown way out of proportion. I lived about 5 years just a few miles from Limerick Nuclear power plant and never once worried about it.

-- Dave (, March 06, 2002.

My hubby is one of the engineers that supervises the outages on these plants, he's been doing it for the last 25 years, and he's about as healthy as they come. I'd have to agree with the above post!

-- CJ (, March 06, 2002.

Now I use to watch a lot about 3-mile island on Saturday Night Live so I'm not so sure I would want to live by a nuclear plant.

-- r.h. in okla. (, March 07, 2002.

TMI has sat right in the middle of the Susquehanna river for many years and the aquatic wildlife has never been affected by it, even when they had the accident. That accident was not even as close to as serious as the media portrayed it. Limerick is on the banks of the Schuykill river and it's never affected the aquatic wildlife in it. Here in southern California, San Onofre nuclear power plant is right on the beach. Most times I go down there, dolphins and whales are swimming just a few 100 yards away. I would think that if nuclear power plants are such a risk, we'd know by now. Even the Chernobyl accident doesn't even come close to the deaths and damage caused by the alternatives. Nuclear power from the sun is what supports all life on earth so it seems silly to me it's met with so much resistance and fear.

-- Dave (, March 07, 2002.

I agree that nuclear power is generally safe, but I would like to see the plants located in safer areas--CA is one huge earthquake fault, and I don't know how earthquake safe those plants are.

-- GT (, March 07, 2002.

Yes, nuclear power is relatively safe, however who wants the waste buried near them? That is the big debate, as this stuff will be active for 1000 years. We made all these plants, now what? I live way too close to Limerick and only feel safe because if it goes up, we are all going with it. Unfortunately being 25 miles away, we will probably go slow. There is no one that knows about the evacuation plan that is in place. Don't have any faith in the electric companies that own them. How about wind and solar to go easy on the environment?

-- CNoll (, March 07, 2002.

CNoll, Try 250,000 years...that is the half-life of plutonium. That waste will be highly radioactive basically forever as far as humans are concerned.

Dave, nuclear power from the sun does power our entire planet, and could if it were promoted instead of supressed by the fossil fuel boys protecting their money and not giving one thought to the people or the future. Nuclear is safe, sure. A nuclear plant is good for about 40, or 50 years and then it is too radioactive to use. So, wherever there is a plant now, there it will always sit. Just eventually it will be sitting empty.

-- gilly (, March 07, 2002.

Sorry, but folks who think nuclear, or ANY energy that is not self sustainable, are just crazy!!! Nuclear use just postpones the research needed desperately for truly self sustainable energy sources, ie., solar, wind, hydro and fuel cells. These are the ONLY sources of energy that can safely used for long term self sustainability, that don't pollute or require that "we" buy energy from other countries, causing wars like the ones we now are engaged in.

Yes, energy (oil) is the ONLY real reason "we" are engaged in the "war on terrorism", the pols are just lying to you if you believe otherwise!

Speak out, chain yourself to a bulldozer, picket, have protest marches, whatever it takes in the form of non-violent protest to bring such injustices to the attention of the complacent and non- caring American public. Folks today have forgotten what "protest" really means, they have forgotten the 1970's and what "we" stood for then!!!

Make a stand, make a change, take time to really care!!!

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (, March 07, 2002.

ok, I agree with the waste issue. But, how do we know that technology won't figure out a way to take care of that? Maybe if there wasn't so much resistance and fear it'd already be solved. I'm all for solar and wind power but it's a limited power source compared to nuclear. I do think we should have many more wind-generator farms like the one around Palm Springs and up in Montana.

Annie, I agree 100% with what you said about the "war on terrorism" and all our other military actions in that region the past 20 years(Bosnia, Iraq, etc). I guess the average American doesn't take the time to piece it all together or go back a year and read the newswires regarding Afghanistan, Unocal and the pipeline they've been trying to get through that region. I believe the lies go so far that I won't even mention it here and won't even dare to give my opinion of the events of Sept 11. It amazes me that more don't realize what's really been going on.

-- Dave (, March 07, 2002.

Dave, et al, in addition to the fact that nuclear plants generate radioactive waste that we have no safe way of dealing with for the next hundred thousand years or so, and all the other arguments against it you've surely read over the last thirty forty years, are you aware that the govt is currently discussing how a "dirty bomb" exploded in NYC wouold cause millions of cancer deaths? Where do you think the material for this type of bomb comes from: nuclear power plants.

Dave, I also have to challenge your statement that solar and wind are "a limited power source compared to nuclear" I have no idea how much nuclear power is available on this planet; I suspect that it's a quite large amount. However, the amount of solar available is incredibly large. At our latitude, (the 48 states) we have an average of about 2000 btu's of solar power per square foot per day available for use. That means that a 1000 square foot house is receiving, on average, two million btu's of energy. For comparison, a gallon of propane contains 92,000 btus. Thus, we're receiving the equivalent of over twenty gallons of propane per day from the sun. To put it in terms of electricity, 2 million btu's is equivalent to 580 kilowatt hours. An average household uses about 30 kilowatt hours per day, I'm told.

My point is that the amount of solar power available is damned near limitless.

End of diatribe.

Good letter, Annie! By the way, fuel cells are not a source of energy; they are merely a way to utilize energy from other sources. I'll forgive you for that, though, as it's widely promoted as an energy source. As far as research for sustainable sources of energy, I'm all for it. Of course, good old "Oily George" is dead set against anything that affects his oil buddies. Strangely enough, so much research has already been done that there are already viable solutions. For instance, did you know that you can now buy electric vehicles which cost only about a penny per mile to drive, and have a range of 50 plus miles? That the only maintenance is to check the batteries occassionally? That these vehicles have no valves, no clutches, no transmissions, no pistons, no carburetors or fuel injection? No differentials, no starters? I could go on and on. Basically, they have hardly any moving parts to wear out.

An electric vehicle such as this is perfectly suitable for 80% of our personal transportation needs, according to the federal govt, because 80% of the miles we drive are less than 50 miles round trip. You drive to work ,or whatever, then you plug in your car when you get home. You drive your gas gussling SUV or whatever you've got for the 20% of the mile involving longer trips.

Another source of power is the already proven "solar troughs" developed by the DOE in Southern Calif. When King George learned that they were currently able to produce power at a rate of about 15 cents per kwh, and could produce power much more cheaply than that, were we to develop them en mass, he of course cut funding for this project. The DOE said that these solar troughs, if placed over a ten mile by ten mile area of the Sonora Desert in Arizona, would provide ALL THE US'S POWER NEEDS! This was not just for electricity, but all heating ,cooling, industrial, and transportation power needs.

If California would have invested in photoelectric panels instead of paying over a buck per kwh during its last "energy crisis", they would have been able to purchase enough photoelectric panels to produce a few GIGAwatts of power, for the next 30 years (and probably longer than that--no one has yet figured out how long these panels will last)!

Kathy, don't be put off by these "pollyannas". It IS possible to "fight city hall". I went to a nine day protest against Trojan Nuclear Power Plant back in 1977, just down the Columbia River from Portland. It was not only a great party, but it formed a seed to spur lots of awareness about the dangers of nuclear power in both Oregon and Washington (it was on the border) Guess what? It's no longer a nuclear power plant. It took a long long time, but eventually we won. And now, there is virtually no chance that we Oregonians will ever allow another one of those dirty beasts in our state.

Dave, you say, "Nuclear power from the sun is what supports all life on earth so it seems silly to me it's met with so much resistance and fear. "

This is a less than perfect argument, in my opinion. It happens that the Sun is about 93 million miles away from us, and it is still capable of causing skin cancer if you expose yourself to it too much.

How about saying that manure supports plant growth, therefore why worry about dumping it into our water supplies? Makes about as much sense...

To say that "all the other alternatives have caused way more damage to the enviroment and people than nuclear ever has or likely ever would." is also stretching the truth a bit. An example: my hot water is produced by solar power. My home is largely heated by solar. 20% of the electricity I buy from PP&L comes from hydroelectric, which is certainly a lot safer than nukes are. I have friends who produce their own power from small hydro; where's the danger from this?

PP&L has recently given us the option of spending approximately 10% more for our power, and thus buy all our power from a different source ("Green Mountain Energy, or some such). ALL the power I buy under this plan comes from wind and geothermal energy. In what way is this more harmful than nuclear power?

I also have a solar clothes dryer, with wind supplement. It cost me about fifteen bucks, including poles, concrete to set the poles in, and some wire. How am I damaging the environment wit this system?

PS, there's been so many hundreds of kilos of nuclear fuels which the power companies have "lost" or "misplaced" over the years that many, many nuclear weapons could be made by whoever the recipeints were.

-- joj (jump@off.c), March 07, 2002.

The sun is powered by fusion, not fission. Fusion (when we finally get it - we're getting there slowly) would run essentially on water and would produce no radioactive waste. Big diff.

-- Soni (, March 07, 2002.

yes Soni, that's what I was trying to allude to(I'm not up on this stuff obviously). I heard last week they made some new discoveries in cold fusion. Sounded pretty good to me.

-- Dave (, March 07, 2002.

Look at this from a terrorist point of view. How can I do the most damage? Nuke....wind farm. Nuke.....hydro dam. Nuke .... pv farm. Nuke....coal fired gen plant. Nuke.... gas fired gen plant. Nukes make little sense to me in our present situation.

-- jz (, March 09, 2002.

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