A City We’d Rather Not Be Too Much Like

The President of Hiroshima is coming to town Wednesday night, and I wish like crazy that it’s because of his personal fondness for the bean. It’s not. He’s here to get us to wake up to the fact that our state is number one in the country in nuclear plants and among the top states in radioactive waste.

I won’t even get into how well all the plants and radioactive waste are guarded or stored or cared for because it will just make you heartsick. So, here’s the point: Exelon is seeking permission to build a second reactor in Clinton, IL, which would be the first since Three Mile Island proved that accidents do happen.

The nation has no agreed upon plan for how to safely store all the radioactive waste these plants generate, partly because the waste remains radioactive for millions of years. In other words, it’s a permanent, potential human and environmental disaster that we hand down to all of our ancestors. But, Exelon says “Let’s build some more!”

Here’s how you can say no to a new Clinton reactor. Write the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at ClintonEIS@nrc.gov by May 25. You can also tell Exelon by calling 1-800-483-3220.

Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba’s talk, “A deadly serious campaign to eliminate the nuclear threat” takes place Wednesday night (4/27) at 7 p.m. at DePaul University, Schmitt Academic Center, room 154, 2320 N. Kenmore, 773-325-7385, ext. 4547, or 630-860-6792.

Summary of Illinois’ nuclear energy exposure here

UPDATE: I screwed up. The primary focus of Mayor Akiba’s talk this evening was eliminating nuclear weapons, not nuclear energy. I confused a mailing that I received that covered both issues. I apologize. But, for the record, one nuclear reactor has about the equivalent of 1,000 Hiroshima bombs of radiation content inside it, so it’s not inappropriate to be linking the two — particularly, in the wake of 9/11.

5 Comments so far

  1. nikkos (unregistered) on April 27th, 2005 @ 9:49 am

    As a point of politicial strategy, you probably don’t want to refer to it as the “Clinton reactor” ha haha!

  2. Joseph J. Finn (unregistered) on April 27th, 2005 @ 2:17 pm

    So where do I go to say yes, since a nuclear reactor is a good way of generating electricity with less of the environmental repurcussions of coal & oil?

  3. JenniferRoche (unregistered) on April 27th, 2005 @ 9:04 pm

    You can use the same e-mail address to say “yes.” And, yes, coal and oil present challenging problems of their own. But, I don’t think nuclear energy is the solution because it doesn’t factor in the enormously high costs of dealing with all that radioactive waste. One screw up with it and we’re talking tons of deaths and serious health ramifications for at least decades. Plus, we can barely build cars that last ten years, so I have a hard time trusting our ability to build radioactive waste containers that last millions. I don’t care how gifted and well-intended the engineers and construction companies are. I mean, even Stonehenge is only 4,000 years old. These costs, monetary and otherwise, don’t show up in our electric bills, so that’s why nuclear energy seems like an affordable alternative. Solar and wind would be picking up much more quickly in offsetting our energy needs if they were subsidized as heavily as oil and nukes. But, renewables are growing options. Same thing with energy conservation and efficiency. Anyway, thanks for stopping by and sharing your point of view. -jr

  4. Joseph J. Finn (unregistered) on April 29th, 2005 @ 1:54 pm

    I agree that renewable options are also a fantastic idea (particularly wind farms, which have shown great promise on both coasts). But I do take exception to your comparison of the manufacturing of cars with nuclear reactors. To stretch the analogy, that’s like comparing the construction of a car with the construction of a military nuclear submarine; they’re simply apples and oranges in the construction and safety controls.

  5. Jennifer Roche (unregistered) on April 30th, 2005 @ 10:09 pm

    Okay, fair enough – the engineering comparison is stretched, but the point I was trying to make is that there is no storage container that we are capable of making today that a betting person would say, sure I think that will be a safe, working container for the next million years.

    Yet, radioactive nuclear waste is intensely deadly for millions of years, and we need to contain it for that long. Can we do it? I doubt it.

    Therefore, I feel it is wrong, bordering on immoral, to meet our energy needs today with deadly, radioactive waste that will be a liability to mankind and our environment for (practically) ever. It just makes absolutely no sense to me. Why do it? I have much more faith in human ingenuity to come up with safer, renewable energy solutions.

    Thanks for chatting energy. Have a great weekend. — jr

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.