President Bush was in North Alabama today visiting the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant in Athens, AL. Bud Cramer, who accompanied President Bush, commented on the complete reopening of the Browns Ferry unit in late May:
"Nuclear power is a safe alternative source of energy and TVA has spent five years and over $1.8 billion to refurbish and enhance Browns Ferry to meet our region’s needs."Senator Jeff Sessions also was quoted in May, responding to the reopening:
"The restart of Unit One at Brown's Ferry is an important milestone in our nation's transition to utilizing more nuclear energy production. The increased baseload capacity will help TVA meet the demands of a growing economy in the Valley, and the clean, safe and affordable energy is good news for ratepayers."I feel a little confused about all of this, because I grew-up with a healthy fear of nuclear energy. My childhood memories are littered with end-of-the-world, doomsday television specials about reactor accidents and fallout, not to mention the hundreds of references made via Mr. Burns' powerplant on the Simpsons.
Now, it seems that I have nothing to fear! It all sounds so grand! It's clean! It's safe! It will even save me money because it is affordable! Lets all cheer together!
Clean and safe! Clean and safe!I suppose I should rejoice in the miracle of nuclear, but I have a creeping feeling that something is not quite right.
And it will save you money!
- Shouldn't we be concerned about the nuclear waste?
- What about the radioactive isotopes the reaction creates?
- Isn't there a concern about the high cost and excessive amount of energy that it takes to create enriched uranium?
- And let's not forget the ecological affects on fresh water source used for the reaction. (for more distasteful facts about nuclear power view this article)
You can only expect to hear more of this nuclear chant as politicians scramble for a way to appear green, without actually encouraging a real change.