Nuclear energy opponents never give up their fight
On a personal note, this begins the sixth year since my columns first appeared in the Banner Newspaper and the Tulsa Beacon. It had never occurred to me that authorship was one of the things expected of me in my future, but Donna Vickers, Banner publisher, had called me around the first of March in 2008 and suggested this because of my many letters to the editor.
It has been fun and an outlet for my exasperation at the machinations of the “political class” and those who are “professional offendees” that for one excuse or another, seem to continually be mounting a protest against things that they, or their financial supporters, perceive to be a problem. Much of what has been written comes from my extensive education and experience, plus things that have come to my attention as we go along on the highway of life.
At this time, it seems appropriate to address one of my pet peeves in the area of energy, particularly electric energy – that is the area of nuclear power for generation of electricity. For those of us in the older generation with memories of Oklahoma news, several decades ago Public Service Company of Oklahoma attempted to get into the atomic generation field. Construction was actually under way when a woman, Carrie Dickerson, mounted a well-financed campaign to terminate the operation. Her movement was successful and the Black Fox Generating Plant construction was shut down and remains a monument to those protesters (who had massive hidden financing) to this day.
A telephone call to ONG engineering some time ago, perhaps last year, uncovered that there was interest in resurrecting the project, since there seemed to be a change in attitude on the part of the government agencies in control. The statement was that the foundations already in place might not be usable due to advancements in the technology in the interim. Ms. Dickerson had for some time been deceased, but her movement organization was not, and as soon as news appeared that interest was renewed, a publicity campaign against it was mounted.
Nothing further has been heard in the media.
It is confusing to me why the “environmental extremist” movement is so opposed to the use of the energy contained in atomic fuel being used to generate power. After all, while there have been problems in plants built and operated in foreign nations, not one person has been reported to have been injured, let alone killed, in the plants operating in the United States. And the plants presently operating produce about 20 percent of the total national electricity output – all this with zero harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Still, the scream arises of “no nukes” from those who have an anti-nuclear agenda, for purposes not forthcoming. Even our nuclear-powered naval ships have operated for more than 50 years without any known events and the first such powered submarine and aircraft carrier have now been retired, with the submarine Nautilus in a museum for some years now.
Now news stories are indicating that there is noisy opposition to the mining of uranium for such power being mounted in both Virginia and in Texas, where it is being tested to mine it by solution from domestic water aquifers. Since the Chicken Little objectors to anything nuclear have decreed that the presence of radon gas can be a problem in homes, the result is that it has been proposed that all homes be tested, at the expense of the owner. In my memory, there were signs advertising caves in the Glenwood Springs, Colorado, area having radon gas as being good for human health. Perhaps the opposition movement is funded by those who think the world is over-populated and people must be disposed of, by the reduction in energy.