LETTER: Better Alternatives To Nuclear Expansion in Calvert Exist


Imagine hypothetically that solar power is cheaper than nuclear. We would not have to produce more radioactive waste at Calvert Nuclear to be forced down the throats of our fellow citizens in another state, or equally bad, to be stored here long, long term. We could possibly avoid the surge in population projected to accompany construction of the third reactor, in keeping with slowing growth—a central theme of our county plan. Increases in population and secondary effects of economic activity are recognized as the reason why pollution of our air and waters continue, in spite of major investments to counter that.

So why do our politicians unanimously support, without question or evident analysis, the case for the third reactor? Evidence abounds that solar is or will soon be more than competitive, as in the January issue of Scientific American, or the second chapter of Earth: The Sequel (2008). Could it be the $6 million recently "volunteered" by Calvert Nuclear, with more to come, if they keep silent? Could it be just ignorance and complacency? Economic advancement must be based on sound decisions, not like the current ethanol from corn boondoggle, which has no net gain in oil consumption and has inflated food prices.

We should be thankful that Dr. Pete Vogt and colleagues have promised to present to the Calvert County Commissioners "in the very near future" an independent analysis of nuclear versus other alternatives, with recommendations as to whether the county should refuse licenses for preparation of the site at Calvert Nuclear, in advance of any final decision on that 3rd reactor, which has not yet happened. Moreover, an alternative site for the third reactor has been acknowledged (Nine mile Road on Long Island, NY), where the much cooler ocean waters would allow significantly higher operating efficiencies than the proposed cooling towers here.

The present rules and procedures, engineered by President Bush and his allies, allow irreparable harm at the proposed site, and even construction on the reactor itself, prior to the first evaluation of available alternatives in the final EIS (environmental impact statement) due in two years or more. So what good will it be then? Totally moot? Is there truly no public concern, or have our politicians failed big time to be the voice of the people?

Bill Johnston
Huntingtown, Calvert County


Nuclear Renaissance Moving Forward at Calvert Cliffs, April 24, 2008

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