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Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I cannot rebut Virginia Tech Associate Vice President Larry Hincker's defense of his institution's participation in the evaluation of uranium mining at Coles Hill ("Tech uranium researchers' hands are clean," March 16 commentary). A statement he makes, however, about the nuclear power industry needs debate. "Nuclear power," he says, "has been in a new ascendance for more than a decade."
The March 10, 2012, cover story of "The Economist" titled "The Dream That Failed," by Oliver Morton, says, in summary, that although nuclear power won't go away, it has never been more marginal. The following countries have or will phase out their use of nuclear power: Austria, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Japan. Mexico has sidelined construction of 10 reactors in favor of natural gas.
The price of uranium ore was at an all-time low in 2001, and reached an all-time high in 2007. Since then, it has lost half its value. There is nothing dependable about the industry or anything that points to its ascendance.
To subject our workers, our water and our state's economy to the dangers of this extractive industry that will provide questionable profits to a Canadian company is shortsighted folly.