If there was ever an event to make one rethink the wisdom of nuclear power, its in the news each day. I'm not surprised, but certainly dismayed that Obama is still forging ahead with nuclear power plants. I heard a government nuclear expert speak and declare, "There were only 64 deaths in Chernobyl." Lie by omission doesn't go down well with me. Yes, 64 deaths from the actual explosion, but the clean up crews that went in? They sickened and died. Many people with radiation poisoning died slow deaths from cancer and other maladies. But they didn't mention those. Or, that even today, radiation in animals can be found in Germany and other areas affected by Chernobyl. Some people will portray the Chernobyl site as a wonderland of nature's recuperation. Grass and plants and bushes and herds of deer, rabbits, mice, birds, etc. Visitors are now safely allowed in the exclusion zone, the air is pure. But, they don't mention the animal anomalies, albino birds, two headed mice, mixed colored furs and feathers, and, in this unnatural laboratory, subsequent generations of mice becoming more and more resistant to radiation. I guess that's a plus and its reassuring to know. There are also poor farmers who have moved back to Chernobyl and are living in this exclusion zone. Again, a natural laboratory. Their future is uncertain.The government there is not testing these people.
The Nuclear Lobby doesn't want anyone to talk about the fact that lead containers storing spent rods that were supposed to keep radiation out of our water supply and soil for 10,000 years are now leaking. Or that the costs to build a nuclear power plant compared to wind, solar, geo thermal, even dams, is enormous. To keep a nuclear power plant running after its up and working is very expensive. To keep the reactor cool warms huge amounts of water around a nuclear power plant. The warming of water has a negative affect on the natural life in that water. Regular inspections of nuclear power plants, demanded by law, have been spotty and in some areas, non existent for periods of time. Never have the costs of a natural disaster like an earthquake been factored into the costs. Why is it that nuclear power is getting huge investment monies instead of alternative, cheaper, safer power? And, alternative,cheaper, healthier fuel?
Our government, even when the budget was balanced, couldn't, or didn't want to, find enough money to test all the chemicals companies use in consumer products to find out whether they are harmful or not. Gasoline additives allowed in California's pumps have contaminated every bit of soil and water in this state, and, it turns out, the chemical did nothing to enhance the fuel it was supposed to make better. Scientists are baffled by how to get rid of the stuff. Unregulated, unknown, costly...profitable to Dow.
So, now that we are in the middle of a lengthy recovery, and slashing programs is on the table, can we trust our government to handle the horrendous unknowns and disastrous potential of more nuclear power plants?
I don't think so.