Web Letters | The Nation

Obama Loves Nukes > Letters

Obama Loves Nukes

'Perfect reactors' and the real threat to the planet

The misinformation in this article uses a Murdoch style of reporting. The headline is sensational rhetoric and the article full of inaccurate statements. We should not build second-generation nuclear plants, but we need to continue research and scale-up fourth-generation technology. We are at the edge of nuclear plants called "perfect reactors" that are 1,000 times more efficient that current uranium fuel power plants. They use existing nuclear waste, produce virtually no waste, either recycle water or use molten salt. They can hook into the grid at existing nuclear plants or coal-fired plants. Fourth generation nuclear reactors are far safer than coal plants and could produce electricity for the next hundred years. It is time to compromise and replace coal with nuclear. Environmental scientists, myself included, as well as James Hansen support nuclear over coal. Shale oil and gas as well as coal mountain top removal are more polluting than nuclear, and a greater risk to human survival.

Please stop exploiting ignorance and hysteria. We are very close to a tipping point in the Earth's climate. Each mass extinction has experienced a sudden release of methane hydrate from permafrost, forests, and deep ocean. If we do not act immediately, climate change will become irreversible. Of course, we should continue to develop sustainable technology. Currently, solar, wind, and geothermal cannot replace fossil fuel in a timely fashion. Our energy storage technology is expensive and toxic. We need an energy policy investing in the future and reducing fossil fuel usage as soon as possible.

Tom Roberts

Nashville, TN

Mar 24 2011 - 5:38pm