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Nuclear power is not the answer to our energy needs

Environmental PollutionNuclear PowerEnergy Resources

Dan Ervin's commentary on lifting restrictions on U.S. companies supplying nuclear power equipment abroad is completely misleading ("A nuclear opportunity," May 6).

Nuclear energy is not, as Mr. Ervin says, pollutant free or carbon free. Government regulations allow nuclear power plants to deliberately' and routinely emit hundreds of thousands of curies of radioactive gases and other radioactive elements into the environment every day. Radiation cannot be seen, felt or tasted, so I'm wondering if this is why Mr. Ervin feels he can credibly say that nuclear power is pollution free.

As far as carbon dioxide-free, the energy used to create nuclear energy — to mine the uranium ore, crush, mull and enrich it, then create the concrete and steel container vessel for the reactor and store the hot radioactive nuclear waste — all comes from the consumption of fossil fuels.

When fossil fuels are burned to produce energy, they produce carbon dioxide, and for every ton of carbon burned, 3.7 tons of carbon dioxide gas is released into the atmosphere.

And let's not talk about the highly radioactive waste that will essentially be around forever, even if a place is found to store it. Sooner or later it will end up polluting the environment and harming every living animal and plant on earth. We have produced more than 300,000 tons of dangerous nuclear waste at sites around the world that amount just keeps growing by the day.

Regina Minniss

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