Frequent letters in support of nuclear energy in other local papers contain opinions not in the realm of reality. Reducing the source of CO2 emissions by increasing the use of hazardous fissionable nuclides is like crowing about having quit smoking cigarettes by puffing crystal meth. For radiation, health physicists like myself who have done the duck-walk in fully confining personal protective clothing and respirators, trying to dissolve contamination from radioactive debris spilled on laboratory floors and surfaces, the task was depressing, back-breaking, and exposed us to carcinogens as well. It is not an experience we wish to see repeated.
Any slightly porous surface even “sprinkled” with radioactive fallout probably, in my experience, cannot be decontaminated. In reality, this could mean: Good-bye, vineyards, orchards, farms, grazing land, and valued living structures. Wherever we fallible humans build and operate fallible machines and components, one or both will fail. Diablo Canyon is not exactly brewing beer out there. If there were a release of their product, we would not expect our neighborhoods to smell like Pabst Blue Ribbon.
The proponents’ opinions prompt me to suggest that if their cheers for nuclear power are so glowing, I would offer to help land them a real estate agent’s job in Chernobyl, Russia or Fukushima, Japan.
-- Sam Casalina, Ph.D. - Arroyo Grande