I am happy to see that there is discussion about nuclear power as an energy source ("Nuclear Redux," by Eric Epstein of Three Mile Island Alert, March 4 Perspectives, and "Nuclear Empowered," by Aris S. Candris, CEO of Westinghouse, Feb. 22 Forum).
Both articles articulate points that need to be carefully considered every step forward in moving away from our current demand for fossil fuels. It is evident that the energy demands in our modern society need to be met by other means. It is time to squelch fears and bring forth facts on the current technological state and costs (monetary, environmental and human) of all forms of energy, not just nuclear.
In Joseph Shuster's recent book "Beyond Fossil Fools," he outlines pros and cons of alternative energy sources. I can understand Mr. Epstein's concerns but would also like to hear his suggestions of alternative solutions to our energy problem. A promising form of nuclear energy is with fast-neutron reactors, where 99 percent of the fuel is utilized, not just 1 percent as in the current 100-plus reactors that are currently in the United States. This will dramatically reduce the amount of waste and the length of the radioactivity. Pollution is the environmental cost of all energy sources, coal-fired plants, oil spills, production of solar cells, etc. The monetary cost is a nonissue. The current economic state is just thirsting for new energy sources to create jobs.
As a former opponent to nuclear energy, I agree with Mr. Epstein's concerns about careful placement of nuclear plants with maximum safety. It is time that environmentalists put away their fears and work with government and companies in developing the cleanest and safest energy source available.