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Front Page » February 14, 2012 » Opinion » Letter to the Editor: Nuclear reactor in Green River
Published 1,840 days ago

Letter to the Editor: Nuclear reactor in Green River

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By Carl Kem
Green River


When I came back to Green River, I heard rumors of a reactor that was going to get put in. I really didn't give those rumors much credit because this place is, of all things, not the most ideal for a reactor. I suppose I could sit and sketch out an idea or two on it, but until I came here I really had no idea how serious people are about this. Truly my error as I should have researched it on the internet.

I for one do not support the idea of a reactor here. I guess you could call it the "NIMBY" syndrome. "Not In My BackYard" happens everywhere, really. But for now until I make Green River my home, it's really not my "backyard", and really not something I feel I should interrupt.

Something I feel those not living here should respect. But telling them that will more than likely falls on deaf ears.

I came here for several reasons- first, there aren't very many people; second, the folks that I knew previous to coming here (the Veteres, the Hatts, the Dunhams, the Thaynes, etc.) are all good people. I found that Green River has a higher per capita of good people in it than most any other place in Utah. County-wise as well, and that is one of my concerns.

Will having a reactor affect the moral integrity of the community? Perhaps not the reactor itself, but the people that come with it. What about the increase in crime? When you have the temporary workers coming here, you have an increase in crime. That is a guarantee, I don't care how strict the contractors are with their hiring practices. The more temporary workers, the more crimes. As I have been told, Green River is looking at around 3-5,000 people coming here. I certainly hope I heard wrong. With such a change, can Green River safely grow? There is no police department here. Just county sheriff and highway troopers. The fire department, volunteer and small. Will they be able to handle the growth?

The city water and sewer systems. Can they handle it, and has the technology improved to make a reactor a "safe bet", compared to the reactors in use today? Fukashima isn't even in the picture here, because while an earthquake can happen anywhere, somehow I can't seem to imagine a tsunami hitting Green River.

But other reactors in the US that use the same design are having problems. The Vermont Yankee Station is a good example. It has its differences from the Fukashima design, but it's leaking, never the less. How would Green River react and be affected by something small such as a leak or something more severe?

On top of that, has anyone considered the possibility that this whole thing could go flop? Grand Junction and the surrounding communities experienced that when the oil shale projects ended decades back, and it took a long time for the community to recover. Green River has seen that. I feel what is overlooked is the funding for the reactor. Most of the folks here I have talked about this reactor with think I'm nuts when I say that until that reactor is built and running, anything can happen. They think they have the money now, or do they? Money on paper isn't as good as cash on hand.

As for the folks in Moab and Grand Junction that oppose the reactor, I think they should read Matthew 7:3-5. They still have their own nuclear problems to deal with.

So that's my opinion, whatever it's worth, and for all I may know, I could be totally wrong about everything here.

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