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Nuclear power is indeed greener -- unless sea levels continue to rise [Letter]

Commentator Dan Ervin's recent discussion of the region's need for nuclear power argues that green alternatives such as wind and solar power can't adequately meet our energy needs ("The nuclear option Aug. 26).

He goes on to describe how green nuclear power is and how it won't contribute to global warming by contributing to carbon dioxide emissions.

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OK, I'll buy that. But isn't one of the most established facts about global warming the rise in sea levels we've already experience right here in the Chesapeake Bay? A soon-to-be-released United Nations study on Climate Change indicates we are already experiencing irreversible rises in global temperatures, which only underscores the problem of rising sea levels.

Then I noticed the picture accompanying the commentary showing Maryland's Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant with the bay literally lapping at the edges of the plant. The sea wall looks to be only a few feet above the water.

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Now maybe we have no chance of a tsunami hitting the plant, as happened in Japan after their crippling earthquake. But we did have a surprise earthquake in the area not too long ago -- a one-in-a-million occurrence that woke everyone up to a previously unknown fault line in our regional backyard.

So how will Calvert Cliffs cope with more seismic activity, on top of the inevitable rise in sea levels? We better start fortifying that plant well beyond what is illustrated in that article's aerial photo. We are talking about a potential nuclear disaster, after all, and it's better to be safe than sorry.

Jeff Stennett, Gambrils

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