Episode Information

WWL: Nuclear Energy
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
07/29/2009
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In this episode:

What does the future hold for nuclear energy?

 

Episode Audio

49:01 minutes (23.54 MB)
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The US currently gets about 20% of its electricity from nuclear power, but many argue we’ll need to get much more, really soon.

One of those people is Obama’s Secretary of Energy. Steven Chu, who has said that Americans should look at nuclear “with new eyes.” He and others say climate change has made the quest for clean energy an urgent national priority. “New eyes” or no—old questions about cost, safety, and proliferation continue to cloud the nuclear picture.

No nuclear plants have been built in the United States for 30 years, and private investors don’t seem willing to go near new nuclear projects. So what’s a nuclear-friendly administration to do? Public support for nuclear energy has increased in recent years, but many are still uneasy with the idea of taxpayer support for the expensive industry—especially in the midst of an economic downturn. Today we’ll talk with industry experts, anti-nuclear activists, and you.

Connecticut gets half it’s electricity from nuclear energy. What do you think? Is nuclear part of the solution---or just another big problem?


 
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Listener Tweets on Twitter

 

  1. MCSmith1013@wherewelive Nuclear energy sounds good but really is little better than fossil fuels check out http://bit.ly/sr5Ke for the scoop
  2. cjd11@wherewelive Obviously the more renewables the better, but if CT is going to use nuclear we should take leadership role in disposal of waste

Email from listener Roger Shaw

 Two points / comments for your show today. 

 
Having earned a Masters of Engineering degree in Nuclear Engineering and having worked as a Reactor Engineer in the plants for over 20 years I have experienced the time prior to TMI and post.  
 
It is disturbing to have a national program bring on highly dogmatic anti-nuclear people / groups who string statements together that add up to clearly false statements and give them the same credibility as those that have studied and worked with and studied this for decades.
 
Regarding risks, the woman speaking now, CT Collation against Millstone, makes statements that every epidemiological study that has ever been done.  The release levels are far below anything that people experience from eating bananas, flying on air craft and going to the doctor.
 
Regarding releases, the statement about 10 curies of radioactivity being released is completely misleading.  The isotopes released, as your educated participant states, are extremely short half lives – they decay extremely rapidly, in minutes not even days.   They are also noble gases – as stated – which means that they do not interact with or bind in biological organisms. 
 
Your guess is a stating patent liar.  I personally know the folks that do the goat milk testing for Millstone and she is just so far from any known scientific truth that it is incredible that you would put her on the air.
 
 
 
 

Nuclear show and Ms. Burton

 You gave her all the time in the world to make her ridiculous comments without any rebuttal. Ten Curies is a unit of emission and not absorption.  Nobody living near that plant is absorbing anything even close to that.  By orders of magnitude, maybe one millionth or less.  According to test after test, under scientific conditions, the rate of absorption is virtually undetectable, and less than exposure to sunlight.  THERE IS NO LINK BETWEEN PROXIMITY TO A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT AND RATES OF LEUKEMIA. Never been shown in any long term test.

She said "10 Curies, is 10 too many"  Illogical and irrational.  A glass of water is fine. A gallon jug can make you puke. To say any amount of something is dangerous is just silly.  It does reveal her stand on nuclear power-she is irrational, unscientific, and a liar.

Please Mr. Dankosky, work to produce a show with some balance.