09 August 2005

I Support Nuclear Power

But that needs some explanation...

My father worked for a power company for forty years.
One of the most contentious discussions we ever had was about nuclear power.

Before he retired, he was a strong supporter of what he thought was a "safe, clean," power supply.

He was surprised when I mentioned the amount of time nuclear waste would be hazardous to life.

Got any idea?

I listened to a nuclear power proponent on a talk radio show once, and called in to ask him how long the waste would be lethal.
He artfully avoided answering the question better than Jimmy Carter being asked about the "misery index" when he was running for re-election!

Truth is, the waste will be hazardous to humans for something like 250,000 years.

That bears re-stating:

It presents a problem for moralists that will be in charge of nuclear waste sites in the future:
The history of mankind spans what, 75,000 years?
Written history covers a fraction of that...
How do we fashion a sign that will warn people of the future that they need to avoid these areas, when they may not speak anything that resembles English?

(One of the better suggestions was a sign with a skeleton, supine on the ground, with wavy lines emanating from the ground to signify a deadly problem there.)

When Dad retired, after studying the issue, he did a 180 degree turn on his support for nuclear power.

But here's how we can all say we support nuclear power:

Solar, wind, and other "clean" power sources are all driven by the sun... a HUGE nuclear fusion reactor!

The costs of energy, to include gasoline, and the environmental costs of burning fossil fuels like coal, are approaching a threshold that will make using alternative resources more economically feasible.

Let's pressure our elected Representatives to start paying more attention to conservation, and nuclear power...

provided by the sun!

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