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Letter: Don’t make nuclear part of NY standard

The saga of the failed Shoreham nuclear power

The saga of the failed Shoreham nuclear power plant spanned decades and cost Long Islanders billions of dollars. It began in 1965 when the Long Island Lighting Co. announced plans to build a nuclear plant in Suffolk. It was soon resolved that the plant would open in Shoreham by 1973 at a cost between $65 million and $75 million. However, several missteps along the way derailed the plan. LILCO was overly ambitious, buying land for a second plant in Lloyd Harbor, increasing the size of the Shoreham location and planning for two more plants in Jamesport that never came to fruition. The moves garnered significant criticism, delayed the timetable and increased costs. The Suffolk Legislature's 15-1 vote in 1983 that the county could not be safely evacuated in the event of an accident was a death knell for the project. The plant was completed a year later, but in 1989 Gov. Mario Cuomo and LILCO chairman William J. Catacosinos signed off permanently closing it. However, the agreement left ratepayers responsible for most of the cost, which by 1994 had ballooned to $6 billion.
-Compiled by Joe Diglio Credit: Daniel Brennan

Nuclear power is a filthy, radioactively poisonous form of energy that has no business in New York State’s Clean Energy Standard. But it’s not surprising that a pro-nuclear advocate from Washington would try to paint a rosy picture of nuclear energy [“Upstate nuke plants help downstate, too,” Letter, Sept. 27].

It is shocking, however, that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has labeled nuclear power a “clean” energy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Uranium mining and milling, essential to making nuclear fuel, use massive amounts of fossil fuels that pour vast quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Then nuclear-fuel waste is radioactive for thousands of years.

Unfortunately, Cuomo has created a devastating model for other states. Nationally, we could see a $250 billion bailout of a failing, radioactive and carbon dioxide-polluting industry, according to the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, an antinuclear advocacy organization.

Let the nukes die! Instead, invest the money in renewable energy and retrain nuclear plant workers for jobs in energy efficiency, and solar and wind power.

Peter Maniscalco, Manorville

Editor’s note: The writer was active in fighting to close the Shoreham nuclear plant.