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Argument: Fears over nuclear energy are irrational

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"A Brighter Tomorrow: Fulfilling the Promise of Nuclear Energy". Senator Pete V. Domenici with Blythe J. Lyons and Julian J. Steyn. 2005. - "many Americans have an irrational fear of anything 'nuclear.' They are willing to use radiation to fight cancer, detect other diseases, irradiate food. But mention nuclear energy and a kind of strange syllogism forms in the minds of millions of citizens. Nuclear means bombs and mushroom clouds; radiation means death.

"That almost instinctive chain of thought, flawed as it is, gives use of nuclear energy a pretty steep hill to climb with many of my neighbors."

..."Nuclear power is safe and sure. Every week, one or two nuclear power plants dock at a major port in America or somewhere else in the world. And these power plants have been doing so for half a century now. ... No accidents of any kind have ever marred these dockings, no leaks have cleared blocks of cities; no emergencies have been declared."[1]


Jay Lehr. "Making the Case for Nuclear Power". The Heartland Institute. February 1, 2005 - "It is indeed amazing how thoroughly this nation has lost sight of the fabulous fleet of nuclear submarines that have operated below the radar these past 50 years. Domenici reminds us in his book that the Nautilus, our first nuclear powered submarine, was launched in 1954.

Since then, the Navy has launched more than 200 nuclear-powered ships, and 82 are currently in operation. Recently, the Navy was operating slightly more than 100 of these reactors; about the same number as those operating in civilian power stations across the country.

Domenici tell us that our nuclear ships are welcomed into 150 ports in 50 countries. They have traveled 128 million miles without a serious incident. Navy reactors have twice the operational hours of our civilian systems. This is a long record of safety, an achievement the public needs to understand."


Pete Domenici said in his book, "A Brighter Tomorrow: Fulfilling the Promise of Nuclear Energy": "We are willing to spend billions on exotic alternatives, some of which hold virtually no prospect of helping to end our energy dependency. We are willing to dig more coal, risk more miners' lives, pollute more air and streams, and spew more deadly heavy metals into our cities. We are even willing to send our military men and women overseas, where many die and more are wounded.

"It takes my breath away that we are unwilling to take advantage of nuclear energy and the billions of dollars worth of brains that American scientists in the nuclear arena offer us. Why?

"I believe two major factors account for our failures. First, many Americans have an irrational fear of anything 'nuclear.' They are willing to use radiation to fight cancer, detect other diseases, irradiate food. But mention nuclear energy and a kind of strange syllogism forms in the minds of millions of citizens. Nuclear means bombs and mushroom clouds; radiation means death."[2]

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