LETTER: U.S. must develop its own energy

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 | 4:26 p.m. CST; updated 9:33 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On a recent visit to MU, I noticed the article "Ameren holds talks with city," discussing the possibility of constructing a new nuclear power plant in the Columbia area. Given America's unquenchable thirst for energy and the danger of importing oil from unstable and dangerous regions such as the Middle East and the Caspian Sea, it is of paramount importance that we develop our own domestic sources of energy.

Besides renewable sources of energy (wind, solar, etc.), which are sporadic and need further technological improvements to become economically viable on a large scale, nuclear power offers the next best alternative to securing America's energy-independence and continued growth.

In the spirit of dramatically reducing the waste generated from using nuclear fuel, we need to consider using breeder reactors as in France (which generates some 80 percent of its electricity using nuclear fission) to partially recycle spent fuel. We also need to make a major effort to educate the public about nuclear energy to demystify the subject and generate public support for what will inevitably be (for now) a major solution to our energy crisis.



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