Letter to Obama
Urgently Recommends Accelerated
U.S. Nuclear Energy Development
Jan. 13, 2010 (EIRNS)In a letter dated Jan. 11, 224 American and international nuclear scientists and engineers, medical professionals, college professors, businessmen, agricultural specialists, political activists, and others, including three high school students, urge President Obama's Science Advisor, John Holdren (himself, an anti-nuclear, anti-fusion, anti-science zero-growther) to pass their message on to the President, that the United States must get back to developing nuclear energy.
The letter states that the "world is leaving us behind," in developing and deploying nuclear energy. Of the 58 new plants under construction worldwide, they state, only one is in North America, which is a mothballed plant the TVA is finally finishing. "Our nation needs to proceed quickly not twenty or fifty years from now while the people who pioneered this science and engineering can still provide guidance to a new generation of scientists and engineers. There is no political, economic, or technical justification for delaying the benefits that nuclear power will bring to the United States, while the rest of the world forges ahead," the letter states.
The signers make two "urgent recommendations." The first is to "accelerate the licensing and building" of current-generation nuclear power reactors. The second, is to develop the fourth generation reactors. They specifically urge the reinstatement of the program to develop and demonstrate the technology for recycling used, or spent, reactor fuel (reprocessing), which has been cancelled by the Obama Administration. The letter points out that Russia, China, India, Japan, and South Korea have expressed interest in contributing to a demonstration fast reactor.
The signers of the letter are predominantly from the United States, but include people from 10 other nations. (the letter and list can be accessed here). Academician E.P. Velikhov, head of the Kurchatov Institute and a Russian policy advisor signed, as did Dr. Baldev Raj, director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research in India. Former U.S. Apollo astronaut and geologist, Harrison Schmitt also signed. Added together, the nuclear experts represent on the order of 1,000 man-years of experience with nuclear energy.
The letter is also being sent to every Member of Congress.