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.

   
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