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Bailing out nuclear energy to save TMI is horrible idea: Letter to the Editor

Posted 2/27/19

The owner of Three Mile Island, Exelon, announced that it will close TMI in 2019 unless federal or state governments act to place nuclear power on a level playing field economically with other forms …

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Bailing out nuclear energy to save TMI is horrible idea: Letter to the Editor

Posted

The owner of Three Mile Island, Exelon, announced that it will close TMI in 2019 unless federal or state governments act to place nuclear power on a level playing field economically with other forms of energy. Exelon also pointed out that TMI has not been profitable for the last six years.

Nuclear power has been promoted by governments, business and special interests as being a safe and affordable source of electricity since my childhood. Living through the TMI accident almost 40 years ago I remember reading, “Not enough radiation escaped to cause any dose above background levels to local residents” or “no one was injured by TMI.” That is pie-in-the-sky to me. 

In hope, I responded to the TMI nuclear accident by co-founding Concerned Mothers & Women. We need truth and justice to uphold and safeguard life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As stated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 

 My feet are on the ground trying to live with our reality. It is an inhumane and environmentally destructive reality. The health history and present conditions that exist in the lives of our neighbors here in south-central Pennsylvania, Chernobyl and Fukushima cannot be diminished or ignored. Neither can the many witnesses, studies and research that were never acknowledged in the TMI “official report.” 

Scientific evidence has been established linking thyroid disease to the TMI meltdown. However, research with respect to these links to thyroid disease and other diseases has been and still is insufficient. We do not have long-term, in-depth epidemiology studies to know how the radiation distributed by the TMI accident has affected the population. Also it is an undeniable fact that evacuating an at-risk population in a timely manner is neither feasible nor logical.

Further, there is the issue of lethal nuclear waste. It continues to be created. After all these years, there is still no true way to deal with it. Nuclear waste will sit in containers buried in the ground or stored at nuclear power sites, still lethal centuries after we are gone. Populations continue to be identified that have been seriously medically impacted by radiation and the burial of nuclear waste.

 With respect to present government policy, the Pennsylvania Nuclear Energy Caucus is working to put nuclear power on equal footing with zero-carbon emission energy sources. Three options identified by the organization intend to change laws to subsidize, i.e,“bail out,” nuclear power to sustain its long-term use. 

There are attempts to classify nuclear power in positive terms, such as “green” or “carbon free,” but nuclear power is nowhere near environmentally friendly because uranium mining, radiation and nuclear waste are all part of nuclear energy.

Should citizens pay more tax money to subsidize Exelon’s production of power from nuclear energy when such production has not been profitable and does not look to be profitable for the foreseeable future? I say no. The benefits of nuclear power are significantly outweighed by the human, economic and environmental risk of nuclear meltdowns, radiation and nuclear waste. 

I believe the correct action is to take no action. This will allow nuclear power to phase out in a safe manner. Nuclear companies can make their economic decisions for operation, decommissioning, dismantling, nuclear waste storage protection, and research accordingly.

A government of the people, by the people, and for the people should be enabled to rely on safe, environmentally friendly energy sources. We are stewards of the Earth defending life and trying to do what is right. We should have the ability to exercise our responsibility to protect our children, our families, our neighbors, future generations and the environment and keep them safe and healthy.

Praise God for the sun, the wind, the water, the energy from the Earth, and the other sources of energy that we currently have identified, as well as the renewable sources of power generation that have not yet been discovered or harnessed. 

May our government lead in exploring energy solutions that will promote life and the environment. 

May the people respect God’s creation for the truth and justice of a safe and secure energy future. 

May our love for God change the climate and our love for one another be the global warming people share.

Thank you for your consideration. God bless you, and God bless America!

Linda Braasch

Lower Swatara Township