Walla Walla Union Bulletin, February 28, 1988
Adams reactor statement inaccurate
Editor, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin:
I just heard a short interview with Sen. Brock Adams. He said: “ … the last thing we want to do is replace a Three Mile Island-type reactor with a Chernobyl-type reactor…”
This apparently was by way of announcing that he wishes to work closely with the governor to help the ailing economy of the Tri-Cities area.
If I understand what Adams really means, he got it backwards. By wildly stretching definitions, one could liken the N Reactor to the Chernobyl reactor (something like the S.S. Queen Elizabeth and a rowboat — they both float). The currently mothballed reactor is, of course, similar to the one at Three Mile Island. Since the suggestion to which Adams objects is to activate the mothballed reactor, his confusion is obvious.
It would take a violation of fundamental laws of physics for the N Reactor to develop a situation like Chernobyl. A smart high-school physics student can explain the reasons. At Three Mile Island, safety systems worked, which is why there was no external danger. The public reacted to exaggerated reports that turned out to be inaccurate or just plain wrong. It is a public disservice (and patently dishonest) for Adams to make the comparisons be does.
An old saying goes: “There is a cure for ignorance, but stupid is forever.” Adams is sufficiently educated to know how inaccurate his statement is. He cannot, therefore, claim ignorance. The quoted statement is stupid. The man who made it is stupid. His policies and his personal intervention on behalf of the misinformed anti-nuclear groups are the primary reasons for the suffering the Tri-Cities will face. The people of this region cannot afford to be represented by the likes of Adams.