We are well overdue for building the next generation of nuclear plants, having squandered decades burning polluting coal, oil and natural gas (2/28, A-1, “Nuclear power regains its luster”). And now the anti-nuclear lobbyists are trying to tell us that conservation and alternatives can meet all our desires, and that we have no need for nuclear.
Certainly conservation — when it leads to efficiency and not sitting in the cold and dark — is worthwhile, and we have made great strides in efficiency. Homes are better insulated, and cars like the Prius get excellent gas mileage. The alternatives are another matter. Most are uneconomical without massive subsidies. And although we will need every possible energy resource to take us into the future, we have spent billions of dollars on developing alternatives over the last 30 years with almost nothing to show for it. Yes, we do need new nuclear units now.
William H. Miller
Professor, Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute
University of Missouri Research Reactor Center
University of Missouri-Columbia