I love people who evaluate issues based on hard nosed facts and critical thinking. The Fulton Sun apparently hires writers who feel the same way.
On Monday, January 26, 2009, Don Norfleet wrote an article for that publication titled Nuclear plant foes shift from environmentalists to consumer groups that is full of terrific analysis of the history of nuclear plant development and opposition. The only aspect that seems to be missing is a discussion of the potential financial motives of some of the people who fought against nuclear power, but that is just a quibble. Here is a sample quote that should motivate you to go and read Don’s effort for yourself.
In the 1970s nuclear power opponents persuaded the federal government to erect formidable bureaucratic hurdles designed to stop expansion of the nuclear industry. They succeeded. For 28 years there were no applications to build a nuclear plant in the United States. Utilities opted to burn coal or natural gas rather than using nuclear power as an energy source.
But in recent years environmentalists wanting to prevent global warming began to press for better ways to produce electricity without increasing carbon emissions.
The recent coal ash spill after an earthen dam collapse in eastern Tennessee near a power plant poured 5.4 million cubic yards of wet coal ash into the Emory River and brought the issue into sharp focus.
Utilities have known all along that nuclear power is far cleaner for the air than burning coal or natural gas. Last year, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission received 12 applications for nuclear power plants, including the one from AmerenUE in Callaway County.
You see why I enjoyed this article?