Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Beating the nuclear drum in Pennsylvania

In an effort to get Pennsylvania legislators and voters to warm up to nuclear power, a group calling itself The Pennsylvania Energy Alliance yesterday released the results of a poll claiming that 57 percent of those questioned somewhat or strongly agreed that nuclear power will reduce the effects of global warming.

Eighty-two percent somewhat or strongly agreed that it is reliable, and just over 66 percent strongly or somewhat agreed that nuclear power is safe, according to Terry Madonna, an independent pollster and professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA.

Did the poll include questions about the safety of handling or disposing of spent nuclear rods? If so, we didn't see any responses in the Alliance's news release.

The Alliance is funded by Exelon Corp., which operates 10 nuclear power stations across the country. Members of the Alliance include:

- Pete Duncan and Dave Hess, former secretaries of the DEP

- Forrest J. Remick, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Engineering at Penn State

- James MacVay and William Lynch, former Adjutants General and commanders of the PA National Guard

- Dr. Ivory Nelson, President of Lincoln University

- Dr. Steven King, Director, Division of Health Physics and Radiation Safety Officer, Hershey Medical Center

- Former Governor Mark S. Schweiker

- Terry Peck, Business Manager, UA Local 520 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union

- The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry

Alliance members must have been heartened to learn that Steven Chu, President-elect Barack Obama's choice to lead the Department of Energy supported building at least some new nuclear energy plants in response to questions during his confirmation hearing yesterday.

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