Clean nuclear energy

Regarding the Nov. 28 letter “Not FirstEnergy nuclear plants,” the idea that Ohio should give up on clean fission power, the splitting of atoms, because of safety and the lack of another renewable energy subsidy is ridiculous. It should be common knowledge — unfortunately, it isn’t partly due to the work of the Union of Concerned Scientists — that generating electricity from the splitting of atoms is safer than the burning of fossil fuels.

Fossil fuel plants emit sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, mercury, particulate matter and even more radiation than a fission plant. Worse these fossil plants throw most of this waste into the environment for all of us to breathe. In contrast, when generating heat or electricity from a fission reactor, none or almost none of these waste products are emitted. Instead, the fission industry fully contains and stores away the so-called waste from fission, either for disposal or for future recycling of fuel.

Now, in Ohio, fossil fuels scale well and can satisfy our 24/7 baseload energy demands. Best of all, natural gas currently is the cheapest source for supplying the energy grid. Solar and wind can satisfy a small part of our electricity demand, but they will not affordably replace the burning of fossil fuels.

Fission reactors can displace fossil fuels from the electricity grid (see France and Ontario), but if fossil fuels are cheapest, why should we compensate nuclear for its public health benefits of clean air and water when we can keep bills low? The answer is self-interest.

The Davis-Besse and Perry fission plants will close without this compensation, and renewable sources, with or without new subsidies, cannot reliably compete with fossil fuel plants. Without competition, the rates from fossil fuel plants will rise, and we will be paying higher prices and have worse public health.

It seems the largest objection of the Union of Concerned Scientists to Davis-Besse and Perry is that FirstEnergy owns and operates these plants. However, zero emission credits would facilitate FirstEnergy’s stated goal of divesting itself from the energy generation business to focus solely on the energy distribution business. It will be a better outcome for all if FirstEnergy sells these plants rather than decommissioning Davis-Besse and Perry. UCS should urge lawmakers to consider any proposal that affordably maintains or expands clean energy on the grid.

Nathan Macher, Akron

 

Public vs. private

It should now be clear to everyone that private schools that go to great efforts to recruit players should not be paired against public schools in the state high school football playoffs. One of my grandsons went to one of these schools, and he received a good education. However, the extent they go to get the best football players gives them an unfair advantage over public schools.

These boys who play in their local public schools play their hearts out, and the Ohio High School Athletic Association allows these private schools to recruit the best players and then compete against them. These private schools should only compete against other private schools.

Gerald C. Wise Sr., Norton

 

Girls on the Run

Robyn Cutler continues her tremendous leadership with Girls on the Run (“Girl power,” Nov. 26). Her recognition of the disparity between haves and have-nots in the girls’ race day performance has prompted her to take action to level the playing field. That’s great news.

It also got me thinking about what our Summit Lake GOTR group has, instead of what it has not: We have the most beautiful site for our practices, the grassy field right next to the lake; we have all our coaches living in the same neighborhood as our girls; we have race day serenity, whether by running or walking and talking and enjoying the scenery together.

And soon, we will have gratitude for Reimagining Civic Commons’ new pedestrian path all around the edge of Summit Lake. Our girls will be creating the future Summit Lake 5K.

Dream big and take joy in the journey.

Mary T. O’Connor, Akron