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United States should re-evaluate nuclear power

As reported by Bloomberg, Japan now also has a “dead zone” around the plant whose reactors suffered crippling damage in March.
Several explosions occurred, three of the reactor units remain in meltdown, and radioactive emissions are spewing into the air, soil and water, nearby and throughout the northern hemisphere.
Within 230 square miles around the plant, soil samples now reveal radiation in excess of the levels that caused evacuation around Chernobyl a quarter-century ago.
Radiation increasingly is found in food items such as strawberries, kale and other broad-leaf vegetables in California, in milk across the United States, and in similar foods in Europe.
The Fukushima disaster having “once more demonstrated that the risks of nuclear power outweigh any potential benefit,” 11 currently non-nuclear EU states, Denmark and Austria, Ireland, Luxemburg and Latvia among them, in late May declared an alliance against nuclear power.
Among major industrial states partially dependent on nuclear energy, Switzerland and Germany are phasing out nuclear plants and the Japanese government has now announced its intention, similarly, to substitute renewable sources of power for nuclear.
The risk-laden, antiquated and costly atomic-power technology of the 1950s is no longer necessary. Among numerous studies documenting feasibility and benefit of transitioning away from it, a “Plan for a sustainable future” in Scientific American (October 2009) declared that “wind, water, solar technologies and conservation can provide 100 percent of the world’s energy needs.”
Until now, this “dinosaur” technology has received the lion’s share of U.S. government subsidies. In the latter half of the last century, $260 billion of taxpayer funds went for its support, while, as analyst Warren Reynolds recently documented in Energy Pulse, “subsidies to wind and solar energy combined totaled only $5.5 billion.”
With the help of a federal loan-guarantee program enacted in 2005, the nuclear industry, stagnant since the Three Mile Island accident, is seeking a revival of its fortunes. The program, currently at $20 billion, is providing funds for construction of two new reactors in Georgia.
Opinion polls in March and April, show it is opposed by a large majority of the American people.
The Obama administration, however, is seeking an additional $36 billion for it, for nuclear-energy expansion and support.
Like other industrial nations that are re-evaluating nuclear power, one might have hoped that the United States, under President Obama, would do the same.