The Safe Disposal of Nuclear Reactor Vessels

Re "Nucleus of a Dilemma: Reactors Closing as Disposal Sites Wane," March 2: All the regulations exist for the safe disposal of low-level radioactive waste products in the U.S. The issues remaining for the disposal of reactor vessels are mechanical and administrative handling of such large materials. These are short-term issues that will be solved by Southern California Edison and other nuclear energy companies by working with the governmental agencies involved.

The real problem is the blocking of development of other low-level nuclear waste sites. The formation of new dump sites to handle this material is being stymied by emotions and politics. Nuclear power has provided 20% of the electricity in the U.S. for the last 30 years or so.

As the article points out, there are plants that are aging and will need to be replaced if we are to continue to utilize this proven technology. Nuclear plants have operated safely and cleanly with a sound environmental record. We should consider not only replacing plants but increasing the percentage of electricity generated, by building additional nuclear capacity.

Nicholas K. Simon

San Juan Capistrano

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