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Radioactive Revival in New Mexico

Do the math, Dr. Chu

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s recent interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN, far from reassuring the public about U.S. nuclear plant safety, scared the hell out of me. Nobel Laureate Chu’s dismissal of the risk of catastrophic accidents at US nuclear plants is disingenuous, at best, fundamentally dishonest at worst. His statement concerning “a breakdown in the safety system we design so that it’s unlikely to occur once in maybe 10,000 years” seems like it must have been extracted (piecemeal) from studies like WASH 1400, done in 1975, which estimated the probability of a core meltdown at one in 10,000 plant/years.

Plant years. With 100 plants in the United States today, that’s one meltdown every 100 years.

Chu can do the math. Calculating for the 1000 nuclear plants the US industry wants to build, that’s one meltdown every ten years. Based on experience with US, Soviet and Japanese (GE) reactors, that figure seems to be holding true. And that is not cause for confidence.

Dr. Chu should be ashamed of himself for such obfuscation. If he’s not scared, he should be. Citizens deserve the truth about the dangers we face.

As I stated in testimony at the White House in 1980 (before we knew about climate change), alternatives like wind, solar and other renewables, not nuclear, are the path to US jobs and energy independence.

Take a drive down Indiana’s I-65 from Gary to Indianapolis and see what wind power is doing today. Rising out of the corn fields, hundreds of wind generators churn out power day and night—burning NO fuel.

Wind, solar and other renewable are our energy future, not nuclear. No Nukes!

I am the former environmental chair (1977–1982) of United Steelworkers of America District 31 (Chicago-Gary)

Mike Olszanski

La Porte, IN

Apr 27 2011 - 12:22pm