Letters to the Editor

Nuclear energy gets short shrift

Two recent articles in the CDT on energy were interesting and timely. However, although the words nuclear energy were mentioned in passing, the writers gave short shrift to the importance and contribution of nuclear energy in Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, the nine nuclear power units safely generate 35.5 percent of our electricity (wind 1.7 percent, solar 0.0002 percent), produce 93.1 percent of our carbon-free electricity, and are the only clean-air plants that can reliably produce large amounts of electricity around the clock, even under adverse weather conditions.

During the bitter 2014-15 polar vortex winter, when many coal plants shut down due to frozen coal piles and natural gas pipelines could not provide the needed gas, the electricity generated from the nuclear plants played a major role keeping homes warm and industries open.

This nation’s first commercial nuclear power plant was built in Shippingport, and the nation’s first high-temperature gas, nuclear power plant was built in Peach Bottom. Locally, the nation’s longest operating nuclear research reactor has safely operated for more than 60 years in the midst of Penn State’s University Park campus to the benefit of thousands of students.

Why is it found so difficult to provide the public with significant facts about nuclear energy’s contributions to the environment and to our welfare?

Forrest J. Remick, Patton Township