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I agree with Bruce Hallowell (Friday) as he goes down the list of our problems: nuclear weapons proliferation, war with Afghanistan, depreciating dollar, unemployment, etc.
What I do not agree with is his solution: new nuclear plants.
There had to be some reason the smart Wall Street investors wouldn't touch that one for years, until the Bush administration dangled free money in front of them in the form of guaranteed loans. They even came up with a new "improved" design for the reactor. Heaven knows, after the debacle at Three Mile Island it needed a new design. Nobody appeared to be damaged but all that radiation floating around in our air had to be added to the fallout that's been out there since we bombed Japan.
I know that's a generalization but around the Vogtle reactor near Waynesboro, average death rates from cancer rose 55.1 percent in Burke County while the rate fell 14.1 percent in the U.S. for ages birth to 24. Children are more susceptible to leukemia than adults.
Between 1987-89, when Vogtle began operating, and 1991-2003 (full operation), average radioactivity levels in Burke County rose 44.6 percent for tritium in river water, up 39.5 percent for beryllium-7 in sediment, up 37.4 percent for cesium-137 in sediment, and others.
The full report is "Health Risks of Adding New Reactors to the Vogtle Nuclear Plant" by Joseph Mangano, MPH MBA, for the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. You could also check "Child Leukemia Death Rates Rose at U.S. Nuclear Plants" of 2008.
How does all that deadly radioactive junk escape from the well-insulated nuclear plant? Every reactor has "regular" releases of air to get rid of heat and river water is circulated to help cool it down.
Then consider the funds we will generously provide via guaranteed loans, which will come from prepayment of our electric bills if Georgia Power has its way even before the first shovelful of dirt is turned. That agreement was approved by the state Public Service Commission but has been challenged by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation and others, and remains in court.
The constitutional question is whether ratepayers must pay for something before it is built. I am keeping my fingers crossed, hoping that the judges have all the information they need. Apparently the PSC did not.
Do you still think we should add two new reactor units to the Burke County site?
Mr. Hallowell, I do not believe your solution is either safe or clean or cheap.
Our First Amendment also protects abortion protesters
Kyle Shook (in his letter Thursday) spouts a lot about our Constitution and the rights afforded us. I suggest that he read the First Amendment again.
He is "shocked" and "disgusted" at a recent demonstration downtown by pro-life supporters. He implies that these people are backward because of their stance on abortion. They are just exercising their right of free speech the same as pro-abortion groups do. Others could say the pro-abortion supporters are backward.
Mr. Shook states the reproductive rights of women are constitutionally protected. Well, that's what the Supreme Court says for now. I challenge anyone to show me where this is in the Constitution.
This is yet another myth that the liberals in this country have perpetrated like the separation of church and state.
Mr. Shook believes injecting religion into the abortion issue is wrong but that is the whole basis for the pro-life stance. I personally believe that God has a problem with the taking of innocent life.
I am certain that the framers of The Constitution didn't have abortion in mind when mentioning "the pursuit of happiness" in their writings. And, by the way Mr. Shook, the pro-life movement is not as small as you may think it is.
Obama's prize smells fishy
Concerning President Barack Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, and given the fact that he was nominated for this prestigious award after serving as president for only two weeks: As Colonel Potter once said in an episode of a popular television oldie based on the Korean War, "I believe there has been some cahootanizing going on."
Think about it.