Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Alternative Energy: excerpt from The Dynamic Great Lakes

I agree with the concept of alternative energy such as solar and wind power.  I do not agree with going forward with more nuclear power plants.  Here is an excerpt from my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes.

There are 37 nuclear power plants in the Great Lakes basin.

Plutonium, the most toxic substance known, is a by-product of

nuclear power plants. It is extremely hazardous because of its high

radioactivity: for half of its quantity to decay, it takes 24,360 years.

Our aging Nuclear Power Plants on the Great Lakes presently have

nowhere to store plutonium except on their property.

On the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant property on the shore of

Lake Michigan near South Haven, eight 100 ton casks stand on a

concrete slab only 150 feet from the waters of Lake Michigan.

The 16½ foot high casks are eleven feet in diameter and weigh

100 tons. They consist of a steel basket encased in 29 inches of

concrete and stand on a concrete slab. Palisades may eventually have

25 casks. Plutonium is so toxic that it could mean an end to life as

we know it in the Great Lakes region. Low-level radionuclides like

tritium escape into the ecosystem from these plants and like other

toxins, radioactivity magnifies through food chains. The nuclear

power plants are aging and must be phased out. Their radioactive

wastes pose an urgent problem that will have to be solved soon. No

one has solved the problem of how to store plutonium safely.

Uranium mining on the Canadian shore of the Lake Huron Basin

also poses hazardous waste problems.

The other nuclear power plants on the shores of the Great Lakes

also lack a sensible solution. Nuclear waste should be stored in a

permanent place where there is little or no chance of reaching water.

Former Attorney General of Michigan, Frank Kelly, stated the

storage of nuclear waste “the greatest threat to the Great Lakes in the

history of mankind.”

The Great Lakes’ value can’t be measured in dollars and cents

only, for who can measure the loss of health or put a price on the

beauty of a place?


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