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Environmental watchdog, with family in Japan, says U.S. must ‘examine’ posture toward nuclear power; insists alternatives safer and more economically viable

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A Green Party environmental watchdog – whose wife’s entire family resides in Japan – said today that it is “inevitable that the United States must re-examine its own posture regarding not only the future of nuclear power, but also the management of the 104 nuclear power plants already operating” in the U.S.

“The Green Party, and especially the Green Party of California has always taken an anti-nuclear stance…based on a sober risk assessment and the knowledge that there are better alternatives which can meet our energy needs. (The)  onetime cost advantage for nuclear is no longer true,” writes Wes Rolley, former co-chair of EcoAction Committee of Green Party of the U.S. (http://cagreening.blogspot.com/2011/03/finding-energy-to-do-it-right.html)

Noting that four of the 104 nuclear power plants in the US are located in California, including two reactors at Diablo Canyon constructed with full knowledge that they are close to three active faults including the San Andreas fault, Rolley said a 4th fault has been discovered under the ocean just off the Diablo Canyon site.

“There is risk,” said Rolley. “The lesson that I take from (Japan) is that we are not really good at quantifying risk. There is too much pressure to down play risk so as to not panic (the) public. If you listen to those who talk about Diablo Canyon site…they make the point that it was over designed to withstand the largest possible quake on the nearby faults. The same was said about (the nuclear plants in Japan.) 

Rolley also said no one’s talking about the risk in putting “emphasis on large scale, single site capabilities. Yes, it may be economic when all is well, but the economic consequences are very bad when all is not well.

“The argument for a distributed system with multiple generation technologies: solar, wind, wave, co-generation, etc. makes the system much less prone to the effects of the loss of a single site. This would make the United State more secure. It would make the US economy more robust and better able to absorb shocks, whether from single site failure or from conflict fed spikes in the (oil) prices.”

Rolley concludes: “Follow the science for the entire process system. That is what the science of ecology tells us to do. Follow the economics that the science says is true. I don’t think that you will end up supporting nuclear or coal or any other fossil fuel.”

FOR MORE: http://cagreening.blogspot.com/2011/03/finding-energy-to-do-it-right.html

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