LEON NEYFAKH made a case for how America and most of the world got locked into “light water’’ reactor technology in “Out of options’’ (Ideas, March 20). While I enjoyed the history lesson in how Admiral Hyman Rickover ultimately chose the technology that proliferated around the world, I felt a major part of the subject was ignored. Why didn’t Neyfakh consider how nuclear energy itself was chosen, and continues to be pushed, over solar, wind, or other possible technologies?
Our nation has subsidized and supported the proliferation of nuclear light-water reactors largely through an extension of our arms race against the now defunct Soviet Union. We have a much diminished need for these weapons, but the corporations that were empowered by that race are a mighty beast that demands feeding.
Our government continues to insist that we are better off with nuclear power, despite events such as those in Japan that show what a dangerous gamble this technology is. We need to stop using these dangerous reactors as soon as they can be decommissioned, and move our infrastructure over to newer, safer, cleaner technologies such as wind, solar, and anything that won’t shower us with radiation when things don’t go as planned.