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Environment

Nuclear Is Not Nonpolluting

June 16, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 24

The letters under the head "Confusion over Biofuels" has me wondering: Is it just me or are more and more people grouping nuclear energy among "nonpolluting" forms of energy (C&EN, April 21, page 4)? How can a process from which waste materials need safe storage for hundreds or even thousands of years—longer even than civilizations last—be considered nonpolluting?

I suppose the reason is that most people don’t live near the wide-open western U.S. where these materials are destined for storage. We Utahans do understand the dangers. We live along the Wasatch Front and have been “downwinders” ever since the Nevada nuclear testing of the 1950s. Please, let’s be honest about it: Nuclear power is not only dangerous, its dangers are a legacy for many generations down the road.

John R. Peterson
Salt Lake City

CORRECTION

May 19, page 36: The article on drugs used in lethal injections should have included potassium chloride, not potassium chlorate.

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