OPINION — Nuclear power is dirty, risky, expensive and unnecessary.
If the city of St. George stays on their current path, the city could be a national leader in clean, renewable energy. If the city rescinds the original decision not to invest in Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems’ nuclear power project, they will be moving backwards.
Nuclear power is unsafe, costly and too little, too late to be part of the solution to climate change. Although UAMPS newly proposed “small modular reactors” nuclear power plant design is smaller, it is still untested and will require more dangerous nuclear fuel per megawatt than a traditional nuclear power plant, resulting in more highly toxic waste. According to every major utility that’s considered it, small modular reactors power will be much more costly than wind, solar or hydro power.
Additionally, it will consume massive amounts of water and, if the history of the nuclear industry is a guide, building will cost more and take longer than currently projected.
To honor the memory of downwinders in Southern Utah, we should avoid burdening another community in Idaho where the small modular reactors are being built with the risk of exposure to harmful radioactivity.
The St. George City Council was right to reject participation in the UAMPS nuclear power project to begin with. I hope they will stick to that decision and not use citizen money for dirty nuclear energy but, instead, pursue a path of developing safer, cleaner and cheaper sources of power.
Submitted by LISA RUTHERFORD, Ivins.
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