As a former nuclear engineer who presented a paper on nuclear power at
the Stanford ASA Conference, I, for one would not say anything
significantly different than what I remember stating there. I do not
and never did view them as failsafe, but I view them as reasonably and
acceptably safe and preferable to the alternatives (with the possible
exception of changing our consumption oriented society).
To put it at the experiential level I do not get nervous driving by or
living by a nuclear plant and would prefer it compared to a coal
generating plant. Comparisons of Chernobyl and American reactors
should be done with the greatest of care (and technical knowledge) to
be done responsibly.
Occasionally, articles like the one I recently read in Time about two
whistleblower's ordeals with a northeast utility ring true (many
don't) and make me nervous, and a proliferation of them would cause me
to reevaluate, but I am not there yet.
Joel W. Cannon
Dept. of Physics
Centenary College of Louisiana
P. O. Box 41188
Shreveport, LA 71134-1188