In the wake of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, as Japanese workers struggle desperately to stabilize six nuclear reactors at Fukushima, the United States government has not reconsidered the safety and environmental hazards of nuclear energy. Instead, President Obama has proposed a $36 billion dollar taxpayer giveaway to the nuclear industry so that it can build new plants.
U.S. proponents of nuclear power claim that an accident like Japan’s “can’t happen here.” That is precisely what the operators at Fukushima claimed prior to this catastrophic accident. Twenty-three of the 104 nuclear reactors in the United States are of the same model as those in Fukushima. The two active nuclear plants in California are located on earthquake fault lines near the ocean! Obama, who claims “protecting the American people and keeping this country safe” as his job’s top priorities, is certainly not doing his job by funding an energy source that is neither safe for people nor for the environment. Despite the fact that radiation from Japan’s nuclear crisis has been detected in rainwater from U.S. coast to coast, the Obama Administration has not taken the wake-up call from mother nature, the clear warning that nuclear power is not a safe option. Those who think that nuclear power is safe, should be over in Fukushima working to cool the reactors and clean up the mess. After they’re hospitalized for radiation exposure, then maybe they’ll change their views.
I am writing this letter to urge people to oppose giving our tax dollars to the nuclear industry. We can not afford to fund nuclear energy. The risks are too high and there is no good solution for how to store the spent fuel rods. The $36 billion dollars should instead go to safe, renewable, and environmentally sound alternative energy such as wind or solar.
In addition, the existing nuclear plants in the U.S. should be shut down–particularly those in earthquake-prone California. At the very least, serious improvements should be made to the safety of nuclear facilities and no new plants should be built. But the reality is that nuclear power is inherently unsafe. Fukushima is a harbinger of future nuclear crises. We must act now to prevent such a reoccurrence before it is too late.