Nuclear Power and the Environment

The article "Presidential Candidates Spar Over US Environmental Issues," April 28, incorrectly implies that a pro-environmental stance is an anti-nuclear stance.

The Bush administration recognizes that we can generate environmentally clean electricity with nuclear power and at the same time be a good global neighbor by helping to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. To expand the role of nuclear power, the president has proposed licensing reform for new nuclear power plants.

Congressional approval of licensing-reform legislation would be good for our environment and economy. America's 110 nuclear power plants generate nearly 22 percent of our electricity with no greenhouse gases or air pollution. Surveys show almost two-thirds of Americans who identified themselves as environmentalists recognize the environmental benefits related to nuclear power.

It is not uncommon for public officials to underestimate how positive the general public feels about nuclear power. A recent study showed that while nearly three-fourths of the public agrees nuclear power has an important role in the country's future energy needs, opinion leaders were under the impression only one quarter of the public favored nuclear energy.

The US will need more electricity to create jobs and compete in world markets, and nuclear power - with the help of nuclear licensing reform - can do more to fuel our economy and protect our environment. Phillip Bayne, Washington, President and CEO, US Council for Energy Awareness

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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