News & Observer
Published Sat. June 21, 2008
Letter to editor
It’s exasperating that The N&O repeatedly advances one of the nuclear industry’s most damaging distortions (“Progress’ nuclear plans attract friends, foes,” June 11 news article). Since 2005 the industry has with impunity claimed nuclear power is “carbon free” and therefore a solution to climate change.
There are numerous ways to accurately convey that nuclear power produces less greenhouse pollution than coal-fired power. Nuclear creates considerable greenhouse gases during its multi-stage creation of fuel and via use of far more concrete, steel and copper during construction than any other power source.
By reporting that the Washington-based “Clean & Safe Energy Coalition” pressed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to approve the Harris expansion “to counteract global warming” — without identifying CSEC as an industry-formed organization — you implied that environmentalists support new nukes. Balance would have required noting that statewide critics have argued that new nukes represent the least effective approach to climate change.
People concerned about our climate crisis are belatedly learning — despite the U.S. media — that nuclear power is far too slow, costly and risky to help avoid the crossing of imminent tipping points toward irreversible, catastrophic climate changes.
By contrast, proven energy efficiency programs can cut emissions rapidly. If there’s a defensible case for new nukes, we’d be hearing it distortion-free.
Executive Director, NC Waste Awareness & Reduction Network