Unnecessary Fears

Daniel Hirsch's review of "The Plutonium Business and the Spread of the Bomb" by Walter C. Patterson (Book Review, May 12) accomplishes just one thing: It needlessly terrifies the public, perpetuating a number of myths and exaggerating the connection between nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

There are significant public policy questions associated with the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and with its use for military purposes. These must be addressed, but not in the environment of irrational polemics.

Given our growing appetites for electricity, nuclear power is becoming as essential a part of our energy diet as bread is in our food diet. The nuclear industry is the only industry--and the only source of electricity--that has caused no deaths or injuries to the public. The public's fear of this important source of electricity is extremely unfortunate.

But, after being gorged on such blatant misrepresentations as those in Hirsch's review, such fears are by no means difficult to understand.


Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc.

Bethesda, Md.

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