After working on energy, and particularly nuclear power, issues for more than 30 years now, I find it really frustrating to see continued references to nuclear power as a clean and safe source of energy ("Power of Support," Feb. 23 editorial). These myths continue to be propagated by the nuclear industry and bought into by those in the media who know little about nuclear power.
First, as a formal petitioner at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on nuclear plant safety, I can assure you that the NRC oversight of safety at U.S. nuclear plants is seriously lacking, as several General Accounting Office reports have confirmed.
The entire fuel cycle must be considered when looking at nuclear power vis-a-vis climate change. The fuel for nuclear plants doesn't come out of the ground ready to use. There is a smelting process to turn the uranium into commercial grade fuel. This process contributes to global warming.
In addition, nuclear plants routinely vent some of the deadliest gases in existence.
Add to all this the fact that nuclear power is the most expensive way to generate electricity and it should be clear that this old technology -- which can't exist without taxpayer subsidies -- should not be considered as an answer to our energy needs, much less as an effective way to mitigate climate change.