I was pleasantly surprised to find that an employee of the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant and I agree on an important issue facing Virginia ["Go nuclear," Mailbag, December 4, 2007]. Michael Stuart is correct that coal fire power plants pollute our air, endanger our health, cause the destruction of our mountains, and contribute to global warming. I hope he will join us on January 8 when we speak at the public hearing of the State Corporation Commission on the proposed new coal plant in Wise County. Perhaps he would like to carpool with Sierra Club members.
Meanwhile, I need to reiterate that the generation of electricity with nuclear power is neither clean nor green. It creates dangerous radioactive waste and squanders precious water resources in Central Virginia. The proposed new reactor is expected to evaporate 2.5 million gallons of water a day. Virginia should impose a moratorium on new coal and nuclear power plants.
America’s future energy needs can be met through conservation, increased efficiency, and renewables such as solar, wind and water power. This can all be accomplished with existing technology. It is being done in other nations. Germany is expected to generate 30 percent of its electricity with renewables by 2020. They have created substantial incentives for solar power and the public is taking action. I am confident that people in our country will also meet this new challenge.
John A. Cruickshank
Chair, Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club