Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No Nuclear, Mr. McCain

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Senator John McCain said Wednesday that he wanted 45 new nuclear reactors to be built in the United States by 2030, a goal that he called “as difficult as it is necessary.”

In his third straight day of campaign speech making about energy and $4-a-gallon gasoline, the presumptive Republican nominee told the crowd at a town hall-style meeting at Missouri State University that he saw nuclear power as a clean, safe alternative to conventional sources of energy that emit greenhouse gases. He said his ultimate goal was 100 new nuclear plants.

Mr. McCain has long promoted nuclear reactors, but Wednesday was the first time that he specified the number of plants he envisioned. Currently, there are 104 reactors in the country supplying some 20 percent of the electricity consumed. No new nuclear power plant has been built in the United States since the 1970s.


Nuclear is not good enough, John McCain. America can do better.

Each nuclear plant across the world is a dirty bomb as well as the nuclear wast of each reactor. Each reactor puts citizens at risk of terrorists. Everyone still remembers the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979.

It is unlikely that the reactors could be built from utility company funding but would have to be overwhelmingly subsidized by the federal government.

NIMBY...Mr McCain if you want nuclear energy lets start by putting it in your backyard. And build another in Washington DC next to the White House and the Congressional Buildings. Most Americans do not want a nuclear reactor in their neighborhood or backyard either.

The world's bad guys are nuclear such as North Korea and Iran. And we all know they are converting some of their "peaceful nuclear energy" to "weapons". We should;d show them that there are better ways to provide for energy for their people. We should try to reduce the number of the world's reactors to promote peace.

Everyone recognizes that Americans demand for energy is almost insatiable. Even with conservation and energy efficient appliances, America needs more energy resources. Even with wind generators, rooftop sun cells, ethanol and other bio fuels, synthetic fuel from coal, power generating dams across our rivers, and other techniques, all together it hasn't made much of a dent yet in reducing our need for foreign oil. The high prices of gasoline and diesel fuel has resulted in a minor reduction of driving across America.

Nuclear seems to be such a knee jerk solution to the energy problem. I cannot tell if it is a solution that puts America into a hot frying pan from the start or immediately throws America into the fire.

America's leaders must be pragmatic in choosing long term energy paths.

Maybe America should reduce its reliance on cars and promote and invest in public transportation. Maybe ground transportation should be electrified and forbidden to use fuel oil. Maybe the trains should be upgraded so that airline commuter flights are replaced by adequate train travel. This would provide relief to our busy airports making them safer and reduce jet fuel use.

Down towns should be promoted to live, work, shop, and play instead of long commutes to work, home, shopping, and entertainment. Too many Americans spend hours each day commuting using precious resources whether in their own cars or in public transportation. Americans should be able to walk most places instead of getting in their cars to do anything. Cycling should be encouraged also.

Most public buildings and private homes should be energy self sufficient and only rely on the utility grid for emergencies.

Electric utilities that use oil should be converted to coal or natural gas.

Are we using all of our feasible sights available to establish new electric dams on America's waterways? Are there better ways to harness energy on existing dams?

We should be promoting substitutes for oil based products such as plastic, tires, clothes, cosmetics, and everything else. We should be discouraging gasoline small engines used for lawnmowers, weed whackers, chain saws, and snow blowers and promote plug electric or battery powered versions.

There are a lot of solutions that we can come up with to reduce our dependence of foreign oil and bring our energy costs down. It takes some effort and we should be doing more things now. There are sufficient alternatives, some too numerous to mention here, that we should not even consider nuclear.

Write to your elected officials. Ask them what they are doing to conserve energy, get America off of foreign oil, obtain low energy prices, and prepare America's future electric needs. They haven't done anything. they need input from each and every one of us.