In your editorial, "Of napalm and nuclear waste" (April 19), you have once again confused your readers with an apples-and-oranges argument. I would like to correct the record.
First, spent nuclear fuel, not napalm, is closely regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, an independent federal agency that sets and enforces extremely high safety standards. The safety record of the nuclear power industry is testimony to the thoroughness and care with which they do their job. In the 40-year history of the commercial power industry, there has never, repeat never, been a fatality due to nuclear power operations.Second, there is simply no transportation container as robust and safe as the transportation cask used to transport spent nuclear fuel. More than 2,500 shipments in 40 years with no radiation-related injuries, fatalities or environmental damage is solid experience and proven safety.
Finally, Private Fuel Storage is not out to win a popularity contest, nor a baseball game. So your editorial's metaphors are inappropriate. There will always be some very vocal opponents to anything related to nuclear power, and we expect to hear from them, especially if they own newspapers. Furthermore, during this three-year licensing period, there will be many legitimate concerns raised by the state of Utah and its citizens. We don't view these as "strikes" that end a game, but as opportunities to examine the issues and to make sure there are scientifically sound answers.
If, after thorough study, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission determines the proposed facility could not be operated safely, the project will not be licensed. We wouldn't have it any other way. We don't intend to operate a facility that jeopardizes the health and safety of Utahns. If we were not confident of our ability to operate a safe facility, we would not be going through this long and costly process.
Scott D. Northard
Private Fuel Storage LLC
Salt Lake City