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Nuclear Defense
Various NGOs have swiftly moved to the anti-nuclear phase of their anti-energy agenda. For example, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council went into cliché mode and said that "You can try to put lipstick on this pig, but it's just not going to look good." A Sierra Club official said "You only think nuclear is a good idea if you really don't think about the risks."

Nuclear power does pose risks. So does every form of energy production. Nuclear power is not completely safe nor will it ever be completely safe. Zero risk is not a plausible standard for any human activity. It's time to drop the pointless discussion on how to have absolute safety and instead discuss how best to generate electricity.

What's missing from the anti-nuclear activists' statements is any indications of the energy sources they prefer to power a large, modern industrial economy. Would they opt for increased use of coal? Natural gas? Hydroelectric? All three, along with nuclear, are essential elements of any serious national energy strategy.

It's easy to say no to nuclear. It's much harder to come up with practical alternatives to meet America's energy needs.

One very well known environmentalist, Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog, took a different approach. He continues to support nuclear power. "Am I still in favor of nuclear?" Brand asked during a telephone interview [by the Bay Area Citizen] this week from his Sausalito office, an old fishing boat. "Absolutely."

A debate on nuclear power is inevitable in the wake of the ongoing crisis in Japan. Debates are a vital part of the policy development process. But there should be some ground rules. Anyone who opposes nuclear power plants should explain how they would replace the generating capacity.

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