Once again the Register has published a predictable essay by Carolyn Heising, where she trots out the same old line explaining how nuclear power is this country's energy savior ("Climate Needs New Support for Nuclear Power," July 27). Since she is an Iowa State University professor of nuclear engineering, this is no surprise. It's her job.
It's inexcusable, however, for her to continually describe nuclear power as "emission-free". Nuclear power creates plenty of emissions, many of the fatal variety. In addition, each year nuclear power creates 2,000 metric tons of high-level radioactive waste and 12 million cubic feet of low-level radioactive waste in the U.S. alone.
One significant nuclear power accident in Iowa could wipe out millions of acres of productive farmland and endanger thousands of residents. Nuclear power is a dangerous gamble for Iowa, and it's a risk that insurance companies absolutely will not take. When Heising can produce a single private insurance company willing to insure a nuclear power plant, then we can talk about nuclear power.
Until then, Iowa needs to continue to require investor-owned utilities to produce or buy 105 megawatts of truly renewable energy annually, without nuclear power.
— Dennis Harbaugh, Waterloo