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Don't look to wind and solar for salvation

Date published: 4/4/2014

Don't look to wind and solar for salvation

The [Free Lance-Star's] editorial writers make a good case that nuclear energy, in any form, must be handled carefully. I agree fully. They head for the weeds, however, when they attempt to make a case for alternate forms of energy, particularly wind and solar, the current darlings of the environmental left.

A couple of things come to mind: first, the Three Mile Island accident happened to technology aging even then; the Chernobyl disaster (and indeed it was) occurred at a plant built by the Soviets, who didn't think they needed the containment vessels that are required everywhere else in the world. In fact, modern nuclear technology is quite safe, and the waste problem, although significant, can be solved with the right motivation.

Then there's wind and solar. I'm not a physicist, but if I remember my one college physics course, both of these energy sources are so diffused that they will require vast land areas to concentrate the sun's energy enough to accomplish much (as we currently see). While I don't suggest we stop research in these areas, I think we should stop expecting, against all evidence, that they will save us anytime soon.

Barry Schaeffer