Save planet with nuclear power

We have to reduce carbon emissions to address global warming. Renewable energy sources like wind and solar can only provide about 20% of our power requirements. To meet energy needs in the eastern U.S., we would need 100,000 square miles of solar panels (the size of New England) or 800,000 square miles of windmills (the size of Alaska and California).

As a past scientist and engineer, I believe the solution could be the construction of small-scale nuclear power generating units linked together. A drawback to nuclear power has been previous accidents. The Chernobyl plant accident was due to shoddy construction and mismanagement, and the Three Mile Island partial meltdown was due to inadequate operator training. Another drawback has been the high cost of building large nuclear power plants.

Kairos Power is testing a small scale and affordable nuclear power unit in New Mexico. It is only 16 feet tall and could be housed in a small building. It uses molten fluoride salt to cool the reactor. If there is a cut to the power for the cooling system and a failure of safety systems, the reactor will not melt down.

Nuclear power plants produce a minimal amount of spent fuel, which can be safely stored in sealed and monitored casks at the plant sites. The use of deep drilling to create horizontal bore holes could provide permanent storage facilities.

The future of our planet could rely on the replacement of fossil fuels with nuclear power systems.

Note: The information in this letter came from The Atlantic magazine, March 2023.

– Donald Moskowitz, Londonderry, N.H.