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February 28, 2013
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LETTER: Too many problems with nuclear energy

Ken Johnson's affinity for nuclear power because of reduction in carbon emissions seems to ignore the humongous number of other problems with this power source.

You can start with all of the medical problems (many fatal) of those who work/worked in that industry. Treatments, personal damage compensations, long-term nursing care costs bloating our private health insurance premiums and Medicare program are almost incalculable.

Then there is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's approximate $1 billion budget that is directly or indirectly paid by taxpayers because this industry is so dangerous.

Then you can add in the billions of radioactive waste and contaminated-site reclamation costs that taxpayers also picked up... and with much more to come. Then one can add on the huge amounts of government construction grants, research and development funds, loans and liability protections that are required because private investors won't invest in this dirty, expensive industry otherwise.

The security costs protecting the nuclear plants and their waste from sabotage, spills and theft that are a burden to law enforcement agencies everywhere are another unknown, but large cost, to the public, also.

This industry's cost per kilowatt is even closely competitive with any of the no-carbon emission renewable energy sources today without all of the subsidies aforementioned. We haven't wasted decades for not advancing nuclear power; we have wasted decades propping it up.

Joel Prudhomme

Grand Junction

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The Post Independent Updated Feb 28, 2013 02:22PM Published Feb 28, 2013 02:21PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.