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March 14, 2013
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LETTER: Correcting Johnson's bad research

Ken Johnson should research more data before he opines that there have never been any deaths or cancer from nuclear power generation.

The Russian Chernobyl accident produced 56 direct deaths and the World Health Organization reports there was likely another 4,000 cancer deaths. The NY Academy of Sciences reported that maybe up to 985,000 world cancer deaths in the following eight years may have occurred due to Chernobyl. The Windscale nuclear power plant accident in the UK directly killed 33 persons according to that government's report. The Fukushima Japan plant meltdown produced 130 likely direct cancer deaths and a forecasted 2,500 to 38,000 additional deaths according to some research, including that done by Stanford University and Bloomberg.

There have been three Russian nuclear submarine accidents resulting in 27 direct deaths. The process of DNA destruction (especially from Iodine 131 and Cesium 137) from nuclear accidents makes tracking cancer deaths due to accidents very difficult. Thus, these public and private research entities report figures they can substantiate and on the conservative side.

Johnson also exclaimed the $450 million taxpayer DOE funds given to one small nuclear plant construction. Think of all the long-term clean wind and solar energy that could be produced for a medium-sized community with that amount. The future of this small plant will likely take millions (not billions, like the large nuclear plants) of extra taxpayer funds to federally guarantee loans, pay for the security/health care liabilities, and the plant's clean-up and waste storage costs.

Maybe if we are lucky, Green River, Utah, will build a small nuclear plant upwind to the Grand Valley. Jobs, jobs, jobs... private and governmental. Oops...isn't the later some of that government pork spending that right-wingers moan about? Or is it just not letting the government hands-off "free market" determine which energy source is most desirable?

Joel Prudhomme

Grand Junction

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The Post Independent Updated Mar 14, 2013 01:11PM Published Mar 14, 2013 01:10PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.