Nuclear is risky, costly

History is repeating itself. When we lived in Pennsylvania, the Limerick nuclear generation plant was built by Philadelphia Electric, a unit of PECO. Thereafter, PECO customers saw their electric rates soar although they were promised nuclear would save money.

PECO is now Exelon. Incidentally, while serving on an evacuation committee, I learned that 75 percent of the Limerick plant’s output was being purchased for New York.

Now Atlantic City Electric’s parent company, Pepco Holdings, has been purchased by Exelon.

There are lots of TV ads about how we need nuclear power, a clean source of energy. Seldom mentioned is that nuclear waste is still on site at Limerick. Radioactive spent rods are stockpiled there even though residents were promised they would be stored at Yucca Mountain. Nevada has rejected their storage there.

Spent rods are extremely dangerous and their radioactivity has a half-life of thousands of years. Wish the Legislature here in New Jersey would show concern about this aspect. Plus, why dump the subsidy on the backs of ratepayers?

Jacqueline Crahalla


Citizens left at mercy of industry, finance

Betsy McCaughey’s Dec. 23 column, “To deregulate America, dump D.C. bureaucrats,” could easily have been “To enable polluters and Wall Street scammers, fire a bunch of dedicated public servants.”

McCaughey presents “rolling back rules on mining, manufacturing, oil exploration, banking, you name it” as an unalloyed good. Some of those rules involve protection of life and limb, buffering the environmental impacts of mining and drilling, and trying to prevent outfits like Wells Fargo from ripping off their customers.

Of course, the Trump administration is way out in front of McCaughey when it comes to coddling polluters, having already moved to shift the financial burden of cleanups of polluted sites to taxpayers. And McCaughey needn’t worry about “bureaucrats” losing their jobs; in addition to the State Department driving out career diplomats and leaving ambassadorships vacant worldwide, the EPA, Interior Department and Energy Department have begun purging scientists and replacing them with fossil-fuel industry lobbyists.

If McCaughey’s objective is to leave us all to the tender mercies of the captains of industry and finance, despite well-documented histories of abuse, she may safely regard the task as being well-undertaken.

John Higbee


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