Kristin Zaitz, Civil Engineer, Project Manager at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant, Heather Matteson, Materials Scientist, Nuclear Reactor Operator, Environmentalist, Co-Founders of Mothers for Nuclear: Our freedom of thought is one of our most valuable treasures, but we should all understand the impact our beliefs and opinions have on others. We don’t fault those who make decisions they feel are “conservative” when lacking information, but the behavior we’d like to see us all adopt is a willingness to change our minds when presented with better information instead of digging in our heels and turning to fringe websites and discredited sources to confirm our original opinions.
Nuclear power in the United States has had to fight against well funded and well organized anti-nuclear power organizations and political leaders who relied on them for votes. Incredibly, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is holding back development of advanced nuclear power technologies by making licensing very difficult to nearly impossible. In the 1960s a nuclear plant could be licensed in less than five years. Now the NRC says licensing new technologies could take more than a quarter of a century. North American companies are taking their new technologies to Asia to develop and license. Russia, China and other countries are doing just the opposite. They are moving ahead as fast as possible to develop new nuclear technologies. How can American citizens let this happen?
Neil Alexander, Ph.D. radiation damage in steels, business strategist, consultant and advocate for nuclear energy: In the 1950s, civilian nuclear power was born. We had already started using the by-products from the industry for radiation therapies to treat cancer. Now, reactors operating at not much more than atmospheric pressure using molten salts as a coolant. Reactors that can consume nuclear waste or transmute other elements into fuel. So when someone says we shouldn't develop new nuclear technologies because there were some problems in the past, tell them that that is like deciding not to develop the Dreamliner because the Wright flyer was too draughty.