Letter: Nuclear energy requires new review

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in Buchanan. (May

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in Buchanan. (May 9, 2012) (Credit: Faye Murman)

I was thrilled to see the column "A persuasive case for nuclear power" by Anne Michaud [Opinion, June 13]. I hope to get to see the documentary "Pandora's Promise."

During the early 1970s, our country experienced a severe oil and gasoline shortage. At this time, some students of physics, including myself were asking, why go through this when there are many other sources of energy? We all knew our natural oil supply eventually will be gone. Energy from the atom would be the most abundant for the long term. When an atom changes its particle state, it converts some mass to energy.

For a short time, some U.S. government research funding was made available, but it was insufficient. In addition, during this period, problems with the existing nuclear power generation technology put that approach on hold in our country. A major sticking point was how to dispose of nuclear waste. Government and private industry were not willing to find a mutual solution. For more than 30 years we have done nothing to resolve this. France gets more than 75 percent of its power from reactor plants.

For some time, I was against building additional nuclear power plants using existing technology. I was against opening the Shoreham plant for reasons of operational reliability and evacuation. In recent years, I again consider nuclear power necessary to permit society to continue advancing.

Roger Gottfried, East Northport

Editor's note: The writer has degrees in physics and engineering and, in retirement, is continuing to investigate scientific topics.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Newsday Opinion on Facebook

advertisement | advertise on newsday