Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Nuclear Road Trip

Larry Johnston, a writer for Florida Today, has been taking his readers on a road trip as he travels in a mobile home. Today he writes about his visit to a Canadian nuclear power plant, and it's pretty entertaining and informative.

I went to the visitor center and asked whether I could visit the facility. The receptionist told me not even the prime minister could get inside the plant. This spoiled my backup plan of pretending to be the prime minister, but also probably avoided my arrest.

The receptionist said I would have to be content with the visitor center. An interactive computer animation told me Canada has had nuclear power since 1970. I glanced at the computer next to me and was startled to see a person with a remarkably familiar face. Could that be the prime minister?

I learned about the numerous safeguards in the plant that reduce the risk of radiation leaks. I peeked over the monitor to the river outside to see whether the local geese had two heads or webbed wings. No, they looked normal.


It is remarkably simple, but this over-regulated industry is so politically charged as to be a stagnant energy alternative. Only about 400 nuclear power plants exist worldwide. Each one saves billion of gallons of oil each year. Our fears give comfort to the petroleum industry.
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Stewart Peterson said...

I'd add, "and can run on American nuclear waste."

Randal Leavitt said...

I'd add. "and run safely. Thousands die every year mining coal and from sicknesses caused by burning coal. The nuclear power health record is pristine in comparison."