To those of our readers who have read my writings previously, you have heard this tirade before and I apologize in advance. But, here it is again. I lived in Sacrament, California, in 1981 and 1982. The apartment my family and I lived in was totally electric, and for those who don’t know, it gets as hot in Sacramento in the summer as it does in Oklahoma and sometimes worse. At that time, the Ranch Seco nuclear power plant, a nuclear plant paid for by the taxpayers of Sacramento and owned by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District – aptly nicknamed “SMUD” – was operating the facility at 40 percent of its capacity.
It was the month of August 1981, when the median high was 95 and median low was 78. I know because I looked it up. My electric bill that month was $13 and we ran the A/C night and day that month. In fact, at that time, $13 was the minimum bill for residential electricity. Rancho Seco not only paid for itself in its first five years of operation, 1975-1980, and SMUD was selling electricity up and down the West Coast at a profit.
Even then, the eco-nuts were looking for ways to shut the nasty nuclear plant down, and they managed to enlist the NRC – Nuclear Regulatory Commission – to force the plant to shut down repeatedly for “upgrades” and mandated “repairs” that had no relation to the plant’s operations. Finally, in 1989, the plant was closed as “unsafe” and decommissioned. What exactly do you think happened to the price of electricity when the grid was suddenly forced to rely on the equally-hated, and much dirtier, oil and gas generating plants?
The country of Japan generates about 40 percent of its electricity using nuclear power. That usage number for France is 75 percent. For Belgium it's 48 percent. Bulgaria, 37 percent. Hungary, 49 percent. In the U.S.? Less than 20 percent. Other countries, like Israel and Iran, don’t tell the world how reliant they are on nuclear power. But in this country, Greens hold control of the NRC and the EPA, and use their authority to ensure that nuclear power is not promoted in this country. Their fallback position is always, “Yeah? But how do you dispose of the waste?”
More than 35 years ago, I suggested a safe and easily controlled answer to that question, and it was rejected then as it is now. It would be cheap, easy and imminently possible to collect the radioactive waste from the plants, and pick a crater on the moon, any crater will do. Then, launch the waste in expendable rockets to the crater. It will be safe, secure, and available if a use for it is ever discovered. And, right on cue, the Greens scream, “Oh, no! We aren’t going to pollute another planet!”
The moon is not a planet or even a planetoid. It is a sterile orb of rock and dust circling the Earth, and is completely devoid of life. There is no danger of the waste doing any harm, nor any rational argument against this solution. Instead, the opposition always reverts to name calling and threats to silence any rational solution to the problem.
This country is fully able to produce a significant percentage, even up to 100 percent, of its electricity needs into the foreseeable future using nuclear power. We could then sell the oil and gas to countries without nuclear power. Those are the facts, no matter what propaganda you have been fed.
Dr. Jonathan C. Jobe, of Crescent Valley, is a retired educator and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.