Concord Monitor, May 1, 2007

'70s protesters left us worse off

Section: Opinion
Page: B05

by William Klapproth, Concord

Your April 29 Sunday Monitor article on the 30th anniversary of the "No Nukes" demonstrations at Seabrook highlights another regrettable case of unintended consequences.

The claims by the organizers of that opposition, that allowing nuclear power plants to be built would have dire consequences, have proven to be irrational and unfounded fear-mongering, erroneously equating nuclear power plants with nuclear bombs.

The record of 30 years' experience since then with 103 reactors in the United States has proven nuclear power to be far more benign than the alternative, fossil-fueled power.

But because of that opposition 30 years ago, many coal-fired power plants have been built instead.

The consequences have included much well-documented mercury and acid rain contamination, plus many other externalized costs. These include ozone precursors and particulate emissions causing serious concerns about asthma and other health problems which shorten life-expectancy.

Now, global warming is a concern.

The greenhouse gas pollution from those coal-fired power plants has been a major contributor to what may become an intractable problem for our grandchildren. I hold those protesters responsible for a large part of these unintended consequences. Fortunately, nuclear power plants are about to be built in other parts of the United States, where their benefits are appreciated.


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