The Oberlin Review

Legislature Must Consider HB 6

Scott Medwid, Oberlin Resident

December 13, 2019

 I am writing in response to last week’s article “House Bill 6 Poses Serious Environmental, Health Risks” (The Oberlin Review, Dec. 6, 2019). I was involved in the multi-year campaign to keep the Lake Erie-based nuclear electric generators open and operating. The Ohio Public Utilities Commission reports that 15 percent of Ohio’s total electrical generation volume comes from these facilities. This electricity is provided to customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of the weather. The electricity is generated by the fission of uranium in nuclear reactors — a process that is highly monitored, maintained, regulated, and inspected. The Ohio PUC reports that 11 million tons of carbon, 18,000 ton...

House Bill 6 Poses Serious Environmental, Health Risks

Klara Jacobs, Contributing Writer

December 6, 2019

 The debate over Ohio House Bill 6 — which outlines a seven-year program that will subsidize Ohio’s two major nuclear power plants — has implications far beyond what one may presume. Effective as of October, HB 6 suggests that this subsidy will produce a large-scale increase in environmental and economic payoff from the plants.  The two plants, Perry and Davis-Besse, are run by FirstEnergy Solutions, a bankrupt subsidiary of Ohio’s major energy production company. FirstEnergy threatened to shut down the plants in 2020 unless subsidies were provided for their continuation. Ohio lawmakers approved HB 6 in July, meaning that fees, capped at 85 cents per month, will be added to taxpayers’ electricity bills. ...

Nuclear Power Requires Critical Analysis

Shogo Ishikawa, Contributing Writer

October 4, 2019

The dangerous narratives employed in the article “Ishikawa Employs Dangerous Nuclear Narratives, ” written by Production Editor Christo Hays, surprised me (Sept. 27, 2019). Hays claimed that most of nuclear power’s existing problems, such as issues of waste disposal and fuel rod cooling systems, can be improved and fixed through technological development. Hays stated that the Fukushima nuclear meltdown of 2011 was “the result of fuel rods overheating and reacting with water-based coolant to create explosive hydrogen,” and continued, “New fuels and coolants eradicate this possibility.”  First, it is difficult or even impossible to specify the cause of a nuclear meltdown. Hays has forgotten the simple fact that nuclear me...

Lasdun Overlooks Downsides of Nuclear

Shogo Ishikawa, Contributing Writer

September 20, 2019

 Many people have read the article “Nuclear Represents Best Option” by Leo Lasdun, which was published in the Review last Friday. This piece is a direct response to that article and an attempt to encourage further discussion regarding nuclear energy and U.S. energy policy in the future. Lasdun uses four main points to support his argument that nuclear energy is the most realistic option for energy production in the United States: nuclear power is emissions-free, which is pertinent given the rise of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere; is economically feasible due to the fixed cost of existing nuclear power plants; has high energy production efficiency compared to other energy sources, such as solar, wi...

Despite Gofman’s Beliefs, Nuclear Power a Better Source for Energy

Scott Medwid, Oberlin resident and environmental activist

December 4, 2015

To the Editors: Page 8 of the Nov. 20 edition of the Review had a story listing four famous Oberlin scientists. I’m compelled to write and offer a little bit more information on one of the selected scientists. John W. Gofman graduated Oberlin College in 1939, where he studied chemistry. He decided to make a career of medical research. He moved to Berkeley in early 1941, where he was sent to go “shopping” for a professor to do further research. John Gofman found Dr. Glenn Seaborg, who was exploring the new worlds of radioactive fission. Seaborg set up Gofman with a project to breed radioactive thorium 232 into uranium 233 (at the time a theoretical isotope). The two collaborators decided “It’s not a bad...

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