It's a disaster, not an epidemic

I am sure that everyone knows about the potential nuclear meltdown in Japan by now. Our own government is going to check out American facilities, and many in the media and around the country are questioning whether or not nuclear energy is the way to go. I believe it is, but in order to really understand why, we must take a look at our existing power structure.


I am sure that everyone knows about the potential nuclear meltdown in Japan by now. Our own government is going to check out American facilities, and many in the media and around the country are questioning whether or not nuclear energy is the way to go. I believe it is, but in order to really understand why, we must take a look at our existing power structure.

In America, our energy is produced by coal (about 45 percent), nuclear (about 20 percent) and natural gas (about 23 percent), and the rest is made up of hydro, solar, wind, etc. If we were to shut down all of our nuclear power plants, one-fifth of our energy would disappear. We would logically have to use other methods to replace it, but how could you possibly do that in a reasonable amount of time without costing a fortune? It is impossible.

As far as the safety issue goes, the worst American nuclear disaster, Three-Mile Island, cost zero lives. The worst international incident was Chernobyl, Ukraine. However, comparing our modern facilities to Chernobyl is like saying that no one should drive a car because the Ford Pinto used to explode back in the 1970’s.

This all affects us here in Akron because the potential battle over nuclear energy on our shores will make our electricity rates skyrocket. The price of everything you purchase, from printer ink to groceries, will also inflate as businesses push their rising costs onto the consumer. Our bank accounts will be devastated because of the sheer panic that is hyped by our American media and politicians who wish to fulfill an agenda.

Honestly, no matter what you do in life, you know you are taking a risk. You do not sit behind the wheel of a car without knowing that you could potentially die in a collision. You don’t walk through the neighborhoods south of campus without knowing that robberies occur every couple of weeks. The difference is awareness and honesty about the risk. We weigh the cost and rewards, and then make a proper decision. This is what we must do regarding nuclear energy.