I appreciate the quality of research and writing Randy Serraglio put into his April 14 column on the nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
Here we have a disaster with a plant that went from a value of billions of dollars to zero in just a few minutes, under waves of up to 36 feet high—and the need for this failed energy option is not necessary. At this point, we really don't need any new nuclear energy added, and we can even phase out old nuclear plants as the age of renewable energies and energy savings through efficiencies comes into its own.
New solar this year has become less expensive than new nuclear plants, per kilowatt-hour. Energy savings through boosting efficiency—an option that the Arizona state utility regulatory agency just endorsed last fall—is costing about one-eighth of what new nuclear power would cost.
Concurrently, renewables in the world just surpassed nuclear electricity generation. If you combine new energy savings (via efficiency improvements) with an expansion of solar energy at the right ratio, the cost of electricity will equal about 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, slightly less than most people pay right now. In contrast, going with new nuclear would cost 25 cents per kilowatt-hour.
The nuclear industry became a corporate-welfare recipient in the 1950s, and is still a corporate-welfare recipient today. Let's cut the cord on this flop. Embrace 21st-century renewables and energy efficiency!
Russell J. Lowes
Research director, www.SafeEnergyAnalyst.org
Regarding Danehy, April 21:
Tom, don't you remember the great mantra of your party? A crisis is a terrible thing to waste! It was OK for the gander in the White House to work that way; why not for the geese in Phoenix? If you are claiming that some kind of "tax reform" would allow all of your good things to be accomplished, why not explain—with numbers, please—exactly how that would work?