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Short Read – Why You Should Oppose Nuclear Energy

By Ross McCluney  Posted by Dr. Ross McCluney (about the submitter)     Permalink
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I’ve long opposed nuclear energy in most of its forms. It’s a struggle, sometimes, to explain why, and takes too long to say it, normally. Along comes this beautiful, one-paragraph statement of the deficiencies from David Orr.

Below are some notes about nuclear energy from a speech made by David Orr in New Jersey, previously posted on the internet, so public domain.  Orr is the Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies at Oberlin College.


Nuclear is a "one-mistake interest."  A nuclear power plant 50 
miles from Oberlin was within two weeks of a core meltdown, and was prevented only by a workman accidentally breaking through a decaying wall, not by any routine inspection.  Nuclear energy is VERY expensive, and has survived only because of giant taxpayer subsidies.  The disadvantages of nuclear energy include (1) the great taxpayer subsidies, (2) its risk of disaster, which is tolerated only because of the Price-Anderson Act that 
promises that taxpayers will bail out the cost of any disaster, (3) its lack of safety, (4) the fact that it is vulnerable to those who want to use it for weapons proliferation, (5) its cost, (6) questions about the net energy when considerations of mining, transport, and containment are included, (7) concerns about waste storage, (8) and costs of de-commissioning the plants.
         Furthermore, there have been serious compromises with civil liberties around nuclear power plants.  The need to protect the facilities from terrorists amplifies serious civil liberty issues.  "Nuclear power is slow, undemocratic, dangerous, and expensive," Orr concluded.

[editor's note: The words "one mistake industry" were replaced with "one mistake interest" at the request of Prof. Orr and the author. The paraphrase of Professor's Orr's remarks is used here with permission.]

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