AMERICA IS LIKE A HOUSE WITH NO TOILET

August 21st, 2017

More than 20 years ago I wrote a piece for TRW’s management newsletter on Yucca Mountain. I had been aware of discussions concerning where we would, in John Oliver’s terms, build our nation’s nuclear toilet, for much longer than that—since I lived for four years within feet of two nuclear reactors on board the USS Bainbridge CGN 25, the topic occasionally came up in conversation—and I had both some perspective on the problems and unfettered access to TRW executives and employees involved in the project.

My best understanding at the time was that Yucca Mountain was the safest (safe far beyond how we typically use the term) solution. To the best of my knowledge, that is still the case. The principle problems with Yucca Mountain are transportation (do we really want tens of thousands of nuclear waste shipped on our crumbling highways and railroads) and political will. Solutions to neither problem are anywhere on the horizon.

Meanwhile, I live between two nuclear power plants: Davis-Besse, 85 miles to my west; and Perry Nuclear, 60 miles to my northeast. Both are on the shores of Lake Erie, the primary source of water for most of Northern Ohio. Of the two plants, Davis-Besse is the greater threat to me because of the issue of prevailing winds. Any airborne radiation released in an accident would blanket communities to the east of each plant.

I am a proponent of nuclear power, but oppose our present system because I simply don’t trust any corporation with a profit motive to not roll the dice on safety. We have plenty of examples here in Ohio that they just can’t be trusted:

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