Letters to the Editor 7/14/11
Nuke next door and hunger
NO TO NUKES
In regards to your recent article about nuclear power and the Clinton Nuclear Power Plant [see “The nuke next door,” by Rachel Wells, June 16]: Is nuclear power safe? No it is not. Is nuclear power economically feasible now? No it is not. Is nuclear power an appropriate use of technology? No it is not. Think about the charms of using uranium to heat water. Like Mr. Schumacher said, “Using uranium to heat water to make steam is like using a fire hose to knock an ant off your toilet seat. It gets rid of the ant but at what cost to your bathroom?”
If nuclear power is so safe why did I wake up yesterday to two alarming headlines? One said that the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant was flooding. It now apparently has water in its basement. Workers have to walk a scaffolding to get into the plant and they have had to run the generators periodically to keep the cooling system running. Then there is the Los Alamos nuclear research facility in New Mexico, which was surrounded by fire. That is the same grounds where thousands of barrels of plutonium waste are stored. As Michio Kaku, ABC’s science expert says, “even a microgram of this material will cause lung cancer and death.”
But the evacuation plans are the scariest part of the nuclear equation. In your report you point out that during a drill an emergency manager directed a group of evacuees to pass directly through a hypothetical stream of wind-blown radiation. I believe he eventually had to resign. If you have ever read these “evacuations plans,” and I have read many, they are a joke. The West Wind plan for Clinton requires the people of Springfield to evacuate to places like Salisbury, Bath and New Berlin. I am sure they are prepared for an influx of thousands of people. Nuclear power is not safe or a good idea.
What I find interesting is comparing the idea of burying the CO2 with the nuclear waste issue [see “Heirs of FutureGen land oppose project,” by Rachel Wells, June 16].
Everyone “knows” that you can’t bury a few hundred tons of solid nuclear waste and expect it to stay underground. But, it’s just assumed that you can bury millions of tons of a gas and expect it to stay underground.
So... I can bury massive amounts of gas and keep it out of the environment, but I can’t do the same with solid waste?
Last month, children across the country began summer vacation. While summer vacation is considered to be freedom for many children, for the millions facing hunger it means losing the one place that they can count on for a meal. It is estimated that more than 17 million children are at risk of hunger in America.
In Illinois, families of almost 2 million children rely on free or reduced-priced school meals to feed their children throughout the academic year.
Consequently, these families are left struggling to find a way to keep their children fed when these programs end and summer vacation begins. Locally, Central Illinois Foodbank provides food to agencies over a 21-county area, reaching about 39,000 children. These children need access to quality, healthy food to grow and learn just as much as they do during the school year. Children’s programs and direct distributions with mobile pantries have increased the amount of produce and other nutritious food available to children and their families, but the reality that need is not being met still holds true.
Here’s what you can do. Battling summer hunger is as easy as planting an extra row in your garden, organizing a food drive, or creating a fundraising challenge with friends. With one month left until school resumes, there is plenty of time to take action.
Pam Molitoris, executive director
Central Illinois Foodbank