Opinion: The nuclear experiment

By Kim Perl, M.D.
Carmel Valley

In her March 31 letter to the Carmel Valley News, Shirley Michael lists just a few of the tragedies that could have been avoided, if only the experts we rely on hadn’t underestimated or ignored just how wrong things could go. From unforeseen future effects (DDT), to unexpected catastrophes (“safe” levies suddenly breached), the lesson is clear: sometimes the experts turn out to be wrong. Over time, the repercussions from this kind of shortsightedness have ranged from mild to devastating. This is why it is sheer folly to accept the assurances of any experts that the benefits of nuclear reactors and stored radioactive waste at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon outweigh the risks? History teaches us it’s the potential for the next unexpected disaster, the one that is thus far unimaginable, that we are foolish to so easily dismiss, especially when it comes to nuclear accidents. If the experts turn out to be wrong in this case, the repercussions for California are beyond compare. Do we really want to be the ones to find out what the next unforeseen nuclear accident will be, first hand? In hindsight, which would the families affected by cancers and death following nuclear accidents like Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima choose — a nuclear accident, or enforced conservation and rolling blackouts? They don’t have the luxury of that choice, but we do. This is the time for the public to say “No!” to nuclear reactors and stored spent fuel rods in active fault zones, while we still can.

Related posts:

  1. San Onofre Nuclear Generator at 25 percent of nuclear capacity
  2. Regulators: Local nuclear station had inoperable safety systems
  3. Work continues on San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
  4. New generators on way to nuclear power plant
  5. Scholarships, paid internships offered for nuclear energy students

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Posted by admin on Apr 11, 2011. Filed under Letters. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Opinion: The nuclear experiment”

  1. JimHopf

    "Cancers and deaths following Chernobyl, TMI and Fukishima"? TMI had no health impact, Chernobyl isn't applicable since our reactors are nothing like it, and few if any health impacts are projected to occur as a result of Fukishima. Meanwhile, fossil fuel plants (the main alternative) are known to cause 25,000 deaths ANNUALLY in the US alone (hundreds of thousands worldwide), and are the leading cause of global warming.

    It's not just the word of experts. Western (non-Soviet) nuclear power has a 50-year record that speaks for itself. It has shown itself to be the safest of all major electricity sources, with few if any public health and environmental impacts. Consequences "beyond compare"? As Fukishima shows, just about the worst possible event at a Western plants has impacts that are tiny compared to the ANNUAL impacts of fossil fuels.

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