I understand what Mr. Harry Thomson had in mind in his letter printed in today’s issue with one exception. Matter cannot be destroyed, Mr. Thomson.
With respect to the prevailing hysteria arising from the term nuclear, as in most cases fear arises from lack of understanding, and this is an area in which the news media has miserably failed the readers. Couple that with the political histrionics of Harry Reid, for example, and public concern tends to obscure the realities.
If Mr. Thomson, and others, are interested in becoming better informed, I would suggest some reading material starting with the book “Trashing the Planet,” by Dr. Dixie Lee Ray that was first published in about 1992. Dr. Ray has impeccable credentials to discuss such things as nuclear waste disposal although there is only one chapter devoted to that subject, and incidentally, she sides with Nevadans for feeling squeamish about storage of waste here. While reaching that point in the discussion of nuclear waste side underscores how the almost hysterical anti-storage genre have littered the airwaves, and printed pages with statements fraught with misinformation and downright lies. She illustrates the exquisite integrity of the storage casks and the validity of deep geologic storage. Dr. Ray, ex-Washington governor, ex-Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, ex-Undersecretary of state in oceanic exploration, points out that deep under sea, deserts exist where this material could be safely stashed, absent worldwide, uninformed panic.
One other source of information would be the Department of Energy, which is apolitical in the matter, and has published three pamphlets titled:
1) Why Yucca Mountain? 2) Frequently asked questions, and 3) Spent fuel transportation. This material can be obtained by contacting: U.S. Dept. of Energy, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, P.O. Box 364629, North Las Vegas, 89036-8629.
It isn’t required that one necessarily accept the information in the publications listed, but one owes it to his, or herself to at least read the material.