Joseph Fray, (San Jose, CA), author, “Solar and wind energy and the safety of nuclear energy.”
Joseph Fray is a retired engineer and an expert on nuclear energy. He believes the government is not using common sense and that carbon capture and global warming are peripheral to the main issue, which are the widespread use for coal for electricity and gasoline for transportation. 50% of US electricity comes from coal and each of the country’s 500 coal burning power plants burns an average of four-million tons of coal annually. This causes numerous health problems and many premature deaths. Each coal plant produces five tons of uranium dust annually.
However, inexpensive and reliable transportation and power are critical to a robust economy. Unfortunately, according to Mr. Fray, there is only one viable alternative to coal generated power (He did not address hydropower in the interview).
Wind power is unsightly, vanishes when there is no wind and cannot be generated in large enough quantities. Solar power is excellent for small projects but again, a backup in needed and it cannot be generated in large enough amounts to supply a power grid.
The only source that can replace coal is nuclear power. It is non-polluting, emission free, does not involve dams, is not spreads across the landscape and can run 24 hours a day. However, there is a strong anti-nuclear bias in the US, people who equate nuclear power with nuclear weapons. This view was reinforced by Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.
Mr. Fray contends that modern nuclear plants are safer than ever and that the time has come to reinvest in this outstanding resource. He notes that at Chernobyl, although the system was primitive and had many flaws, the accident occurred because the administrators were conducting an experiment and had turned off the backup safety systems.
Book: An Achievable Solution to our Energy Problems, 2008. Website: www.BBOTW.com.
(Ecology and the environment, 2010) March 15th, 2010