As stated in your Monday story about nuclear waste being shipped to INEEL, Idaho Falls is an area extremely loyal to nuclear industries. As a resident of that community which has benefited from nuclear industries for the past 50 years, I feel that fear and alarm is unnecessarily associated with it. Its safety is outstanding. Nuclear scientists and other "site" workers have brought both artistic and intellectual development to Idaho Falls.
It is regrettable that most site workers seem now to be employed in the specialty of waste management, because there is potential for more development of valuable uses. One of these is to furnish electricity without depleting fossil fuels or adding pollution. Engineers once demonstrated this by lighting the town of Arco, Idaho, entirely with nuclear energy. These good products are generally ignored by our anti-nuclear government and media. Few eastern Idahoans feel any difficulty with being near the site. We like it. We like our neighbors, many of whom we never would otherwise have known.Literature is available explaining the uses and benefits of radiation and energy. Such a book is "America the Powerless, Facing Our Nuclear Energy Dilemma," by Alan E. Waltar, found at the Salt Lake City Public Library. The author writes, "Many public officials, responding to public pressure, have continued their harassment of the nuclear industry to the point that utilities have not placed an order for a new nuclear energy plant for more than 15 years. To keep up with public demand, utilities have been quietly building fossil-fueled plants. Indeed there are risks associated with nuclear energy, but any reasonable assessment would lead us to conclude that the risks we face without it are many times more severe. ... We have the opportunity to employ nuclear energy to a much greater extent than presently allowable, and preserve fossil fuels over a much greater span of time, if we have the vision and will to do so. ... Do we have the courage and resolve to allow nuclear energy to develop into an energy and technology worthy of our ethical expectations?"
As one who loves babies in spite of their dirty diapers, I realize that with other valuables we also have to deal with waste products. I believe that science is still the endless frontier.
Mary Jane Fritzen
Salt Lake City