“We view nuclear energy as a very important component to the overall portfolio we’re trying to build for a clean-energy future,” said Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman. Even with the nuclear crisis in Fukushima, the United States government continues to expand nuclear energy projects, just like the Willets Point nuclear power plant construction plan for Queens, New York. Last year, President Obama announced $8. 3 billion in loan guarantees to construct the nation’s first nuclear power plant in nearly three decades.
1 Why is the Obama administration so committed to expanding nuclear energy? President Obama explains that nuclear energy is extremely important because it lowers the dependence on fossil fuels, reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, and meets the nation’s energy demands. Hence, nuclear power plants will allow cleaner, cheaper, and abundant energy. The government argues that nuclear energy will then allow cheaper electricity and tax breaks for New Yorkers. However, does cheaper electricity and tax break truly justify the environmental and terror hazards?
The construction plan claims that the new nuclear power plant will directly benefit the New York citizens by allowing cheaper electricity and lower taxes. But will the construction truly benefit these people on a large scale, in the long-run? Are there actual economic gains in the first place? Without a doubt, the people will not benefit from the nuclear plant in the long-run, and the economic gains will not outweigh the losses. We need to prevent the construction of the Willets Point nuclear power plant, because it will endanger our safety and security.
As citizens of the United States of America, we have every right to protest against nuclear energy because it violates our unalienable rights. The Declaration of Independence states, “we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the ____________________ 1. Mason, Jeff, and Timothy Gardner. “U. S. Says Still Committed to Nuclear Energy. ” Dailypress. com, 14 Mar. 2011. <http://www. dailypress. com/news/politics/sns-rt-politics-us-nuclear-tre72d6f2-20110314,0,7836601. story>.
Pursuit of Happiness. ” 2 Hence, the construction of nuclear plants infringes upon our democratic rights to life and liberty by endangering national security. It also violates our rights to pursuit of happiness by causing unnecessary threats and fears. The nuclear power plant construction seriously endangers safety and security, because of potential explosions from nuclear accidents and terror attacks. The 1986 Chernobyl accident in Russia and the current Fukushima crisis in Japan show how devastating nuclear accidents can be. The nuclear power plant releases radioactivity if it overheats and melts down.
The resulting explosion and radioactivity not only causes direct deaths, but also leads to health risks and cancer. In addition, nuclear power plants endanger national security as targets for terror attacks. In fact, Al Qaeda’s original plan for September 11 was to hijack 10 airplanes and to crash 2 into nuclear plants. The September 11 attack could have been far more devastating. The 2004 study by the Union of Concerned Scientists explains a potential worse-case scenario attack at Indian Point power plant, which is near New York city.