This issue is particularly significant, since we now have at our disposal an energy source that is infinitely more cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly. This source is, of course, nuclear energy. More specifically, and at the risk of stating the obvious, the travesty of last week as well as the tons of pollution that these antiquated coal fired steam plants continue to pump into our environment on a monthly, weekly and daily basis could be eliminated altogether if we would make the eminently sensible decision to utilize modern nuclear technology to supplant these old and hazardous coal-burning dinosaurs.
As a quick reminder, the worst nuclear disaster in our nation’s history occurred at Three-Mile Island – many years ago prior to the advent of today’s modern technology. But even at this incident, the greatest radiation exposure was endured by the reporters who flew in to cover the story – by virtue of their travel aboard a commercial aircraft – i.e. the radiation from the incident itself was completely contained. No one was injured; no animals or plants were killed; there was no impact whatsoever to the air, water, or soil surrounding the site.
The recent tragic events in Harriman should serve as a poignant reminder – or perhaps a warning – for all of us that our dependence on antiquated energy sources presents huge risks to our future. Americans need to “wake up and smell the coffee.” We cannot continue to endure the costs – financial and/or environmental of coal fired steam plants. We must collectively push our legislators to move rapidly toward the deployment of nuclear energy.
Editor's Note: Dr. Stumb is Professor and Dean at the Labry School Business & Technology at Cumberland University in Lebanon.