As a nuclear engineer, I’m often asked, “What are you going to do with the waste?” People are surprised when I outline the options we have. As The Tribune’s June 19 article titled “How safe is Diablo Canyon’s nuclear waste?” showed, we’ve pursued hardly any of them.
Yucca Mountain in Nevada was supposed to fulfill Washington’s responsibility, and was originally scheduled to start receiving waste in 1998.
It might have been ready now (13 years late), but the politicians killed it, so the waste remains at Diablo Canyon.
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The lack of federal leadership on this issue is appalling, but it matches the same muddled inaction on nearly all energy issues. When I tell people that the French have a safe, working system that recycles nuclear waste, their jaws drop.
The reason is, as my French colleagues say, “We have no coal, we have no oil, we have no choice.”
Several comments were published in response to a letter I wrote to the Tribune which was published on May 18. I would like to respond to some of those comments.
The Bush administration has been blamed for all of our financial problems and, certainly, they contributed to it along with many in Congress. The foundation of these financial problems was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.
This repeal was a Republican-sponsored bill that was signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1999. The Glass-Steagall Act was passed in 1933 and it separated the activities of commercial banks from investment banks. The repeal of this law allowed the irresponsible lending by banks that led to the financial downturn.
I would also like to correct comments that have been made by the right and the left, criticizing Keynesian economics. Keynes said during prosperous times, the government should maintain a surplus and use this surplus to fuel the economy during times of economic downturn. That is not what we have done in recent times.
As Patrick Thomas commented last week, “Lobbyists tend to corrupt even the good guys,” and until we make political action committees illegal, they will continue to corrupt even the well-intentioned politicians.
Our representatives no longer represent the people — they represent big business in the form of big oil, Wall Street, drug companies, banks, utilities and the list goes on and on. No politician will ever bring this up to the public because it would be political suicide. So we ask you, how do we get rid of the political action committees?
Jim and Suzy McBride
San Luis Obispo
Where’s the money?
The 2007-2008 Grand Jury reviewed the results of San Luis Obispo County getting out of health care delivery and contracting it to the Community Health Clinics (CHC).
The grand jury concluded the county saved on average $3.5 million a year and significantly improved the quality of care. The report warned that having closed its own health care facilities, the county’s health care budget and its grant to CHC would be an easy target for cuts when austerity was needed.
Since inception, the CHC grant has been reduced 40 percent, and now the county wants another $800,000 with only minor reduction in services.
The county has saved well over $300 million on its contracts with CHC. Where did all that money go?