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Nuclear Jitters


The facility might have been designed for an earthquake, but with two significant faults just offshore, similar to the situation in Japan, is Diablo Canyon prepared for something of that magnitude?

We’re down wind from whatever might happen, and in winds like we are currently experiencing and for the remainder of spring, how many minutes do we have to escape (escape to… where)?—Jeff Kruthers

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What is happening in Japan just now should be a lesson to US on nuclear power. There is only one kind of nuclear reactor that can be safe for US. Japan’s designs were supposed to be the safest in the world. The one nuclear reactor that we can safely use, and it combines fusion and fission, is 93 million miles away from us and is the source of our sunlight and weather, including wind. Our sun sends us enough solar energy and wind energy to provide all our needs if we learn to conserve and live mindfully.—Rowland Lane Anderson, S.B.(currently in the Philippines)

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In the last few days we have seen a horrific tragedy in Japan that is still unfolding. Through the media the pictures and descriptions have shown not only what happens when Mother Nature shows her fury but what collateral damage can be caused because of the human choices that are made in the energy we use to power our society.

In this country we saw last year how our dependency on oil led to a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that caused an environmental and economic calamity that after one year we still are unable to calculate the long term effects of its devastation.

And even with this disaster we still cling to our addiction for oil as Republicans feed our fears that President Obama will not approve more offshore drilling even if improvements in safety have not been contemplated much less implemented.

Like Japan we also have insisted in our need for more and more electrical power as well. We are not satisfied or maybe even convinced that “green” energy is the answer and when Obama talks about investment in solar and wind versus coal and atomic energy the right treats these idea with disdain and become prevaricators of the truth.

They equivocate the idea of change to safer technology to a democratic administrations desire to eliminate jobs, when in truth, the by product of safer technology in the 21st century will create many new industries with the opportunity for large employment that will not add further risk to a planet already in peril.

For the present when natural disasters occur the U.S.(like Japan is experiencing today) will suffer not only from the after effects of earthquakes and Tsunami’s but the residual danger of our energy sources becoming and even more formidable foe in our ability to recover. Atomic energy and the ultimate risk of radiation must be deciphered more thoroughly by our political leaders before we become more invested in the nuclear option.

In 2010 Deepwater Horizon and now in 2011 Fukushima (and maybe other nuclear power plants in Japan as well) have given us reason to ponder if our energy addiction can continue. These warnings are finite.

And only when we realize this can we expect to avoid an even grimmer conclusion for the environment we live in and maybe our very own survival.—Jeffrey R. Moualim



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