St. Charles Herald-Guide

Nuclear energy needs production safeguards

Our View - March 25, 2011

The future of nuclear power lost a lot of support with arrival of the tsunami that has damaged nuclear plants in Japan and caused a worldwide fear of human catastrophe resulting. And this came at a time when many in the world were ready to embrace nuclear power as a safer source of energy than oil.

Louisiana has two nuclear plants, one in St. Charles, and another was being planned. Just what the future will hold for it now is uncertain.

Japan already witnessed the effects of nuclear power when two atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. Now the effects of the tsunami testify that even in peacetime nuclear power can have its catastrophic effects.

Entire areas of the world could be annihilated by nuclear power gone wrong. And that wrong could be caused by natural forces such as tsunamis, earthquakes and even hurricanes.

Which leads us to believe that the effects of an oil production disaster such as BPís oil spill could not approach the potential destruction that a nuclear disaster could cause. And future production of energy by nuclear power should be well enough thought out that such a disaster would be almost impossible.

We know nothing can ever be perfect. But our future demands the utmost protection from any such disaster as this one, whether itís caused by nuclear power or oil production.

President Barack Obama was very demanding on that protection from oil production after the oil spill. Now he needs to take the lead in preparing ultra safeguards from any nuclear mishap from new reactors put into production as well as those already producing.

The world is changing radically as we try to improve our standard of living. And we have to realize the dangers it could produce and prepare for it.