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Victor Odlivak: 'The simplest solution is to use a lot less energy than we currently do.'

There is absolutely nothing carbon-neutral about nuclear power in any form. Do not believe this "quatch" (German word meaning nonsense).

First of all, to get it out of the ground, you have to rape the earth, boring all those holes in the mines to get the stuff on Native peoples' land who are dying of cancer, and all the pilings are ruining their water supply and ability to grow food.

Secondly, the radioactive half-life of uranium is 4.5 billion years. That is as old as life on Earth.

Thirdly, you have to enrich the uranium for a nuclear reaction. That is:

You must separate the uranium-235, the radioactive fissionable part, from the uranium-238. Only 2.5% of what is mined is fissionable.

Then you have to put it in a centrifuge, a very expensive piece of equipment to get to that 2.5% U-235. This is the same stuff that is used to make atom bombs.

One of the really valued, most deadly byproducts of nuclear power is plutonium, atomic number 94, which is not naturally produced in nature. The plutonium is used as the starter fuse for the hydrogen bomb, which does fusion of hydrogen atoms like the sun for a very short time to release 10,000 times more energy than fission.

France, which has 70% of its electricity generated by nuclear power, has one of the highest rates of cancer in the world. The people working at the nuclear power plants are very poor immigrants from former colonies in Africa, such as Algeria, Cameroon, etc.

Fourthly, it takes a lot of concrete to make a nuclear power plant.

Fifthly, there is no place to put the waste that is safe. Remember, the half-life is 4.5 billion years, and geologically, a lot can change in that time.

The nuclear storage in Finland is only guaranteed for 1 million years. They did not think beyond that. A major earthquake or volcanic eruption can set it all loose again.

Lastly, the simplest solution is to use a lot less energy than we currently do. Live the way Goethe and Bach did. There was no central heating, no air conditioning.

This is what I taught to my physics and junior high school general science students when I was a teacher 1974 to 1977.

Victor Odlivak is a Eugene resident and green energy activist.

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