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Sunday, September 24, 2023
Sept. 24, 2023

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Letter: Nuclear energy doesn’t add up


The Columbian is right that disposal of nuclear waste is an unsolved problem, but the paper is overly optimistic about prospects for a solution that has stymied smart scientists working on it for decades with gigantic budgets (“In Our View: Nuclear energy deserves serious consideration,” The Columbian, July 9).

The newspaper correctly observes that safety remains a concern. In the history of nuclear power there has been more than one serious accident per decade. Fortunately, only small numbers of them have rendered vast areas uninhabitable for as many years in the future as humans have existed.

But the biggest problem with nuclear power is that it is much more expensive and slower to build than the clean, safe energy sources, including solar and wind, that are being rolled out right now.

Just one U.S. nuclear station has been completed in this century. More have been abandoned before completion, wasting billions of dollars and precious time. One pair of reactors remains under construction, years behind schedule, at double the original $10 billion budget. Those billions would have bought a lot of clean energy very quickly.

Which of those choices should we sign up for?

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