- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Oil is a diminishing and expensive source of energy, and President Obama has just announced an offshore drilling moratorium. Coal is dirty. Alternative energy sources, including solar and wind power, can only provide 10 percent to 20 percent of our energy requirements.

Mr. Obama has increased government loan guarantees for new nuclear power plants from $18.5 billion to $54.5 billion, which should give impetus to the nuclear power industry. Twenty nuclear plants are undergoing decommissioning, and we could construct new 2,000-megawatt units at these sites for a reduced investment by using the existing infrastructure. Nuclear plants have provided clean, cheap and safe power from 104 units. The only accident has been at Three-Mile Island in 1979, and there almost all of the radiation was kept within the containment building. Subsequently, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission made changes to its regulation of nuclear power plants, which has significantly reduced any risk to public safety.

We have to address the problem of leaking radioactive wastewater from underground pipes. The solution might be to use higher-quality pipes or move the pipes above ground, where they can be monitored easily.

Another problem is the disposal of nuclear waste, which has been collecting on plant sites. The solution is to neutralize and recycle the waste. France has perfected a process to recycle nuclear waste, and it is able to generate 80 percent of its energy requirements from nuclear power.

We need more nuclear power plants to eliminate foreign oil purchases and reduce the use of fossil fuels.

DONALD A. MOSKOWITZ

Londonderry, N.H.

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