In their Feb. 2 Readers’ Forum letter, Nuclear energy can lead to economic opportunities, former EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman and Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman missed another economic upside to nuclear power: Nothing makes new jobs like a nuclear accident. As Fukushima, Japan, continues its uncontrolled radiation release, the prefecture has become a “hot” travel destination for scientists and curious visitors who roam the streets with Geiger counters, posting to their Facebook pages the latest radioactive cesium levels detected in sidewalk cracks.
New jobs abound for laborers who scrape and bag the radioactive topsoil in school playgrounds. Hotels are filled with government scientists and nuclear technicians puzzling over failed nuclear containment.
In my recent tour of the Turkey Point nuclear facility, I saw excellent protection against windstorms but less-than-convincing protection from storm-driven seas (by the way, Hurricane Andrew’s peak surge missed Turkey Point.
Last time I checked, energy conservation makes more jobs per dollar than nuclear power, and more watts per dollar than nuclear power. Ditto for solar. So what’s this talk about job creation from nuclear-power generation upwind of two million people, between two national parks, in a hurricane-scoured coastal wetland slated to be inundated by sea-level rise?
Philip K. Stoddard, mayor, South Miami