I have been watching with growing concern the developing situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. Nuclear energy has never sat well with me, but then I have generally dismissed my concern as being overblown and emotional rather than based in knowledge on the subject. I guess you could say I see nukes as the pit bulls of energy generation–I fear them a bit, and I don’t trust them, especially around my kids, but I don’t advocate taking them away from the people who love them, respect them, and handle them well. Just keep them away from me, please.
The crisis at Fukushima has forced me to take a more serious look at the issues. Are the risks of using nuclear energy just too great? Or is it just a matter of further research and development to get this relatively new technology under better control? I still don’t know.
This Treehugger post does a good job of summing up my muddled feelings:
In our home, we opt out of nuclear energy, in so far as we can. New Jersey does get some of its power from nuclear sources (the oft-troubled Oyster Creek plant is only 30 miles from my home), but we also have a program that allows homeowners to choose what company generates their volume electricity. We purchase our power from a supplier that uses wind, solar, water, geothermal, biomass, and natural gas. This costs us a little more each month, about $15 on average, but I consider it an investment in our collective energy future.
I may even switch to a new company–while researching my current energy supplier for this post, I learned that I have a new choice available. This wonderful company is running my state’s first wind farm, and I would like to support that! It bears a little more research first. As long as it checks out I will make the switch, especially since my current supplier now uses natural gas, which I don’t dig.