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Opinion
The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.
 

Letter: Nuclear energy doesn’t add up

By Roger Lippman, Seattle
Published: July 22, 2022, 6:00am

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?

We encourage readers to express their views about public issues. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Limit letters to 200 words (100 words if endorsing or opposing a political candidate or ballot measure) and allow 30 days between submissions. Send Us a Letter
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