In his April 28 column, nuclear advocate Gary Duarte describes opponents of nuclear energy as “unqualified” and accuses them of making “frivolous complaints.” He says Maine Yankee in Wiscasset was successful because it never had a meltdown, as if its siting on an active fault line were irrelevant.

If only the public were better educated about things like Nevada’s Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, he argues, then our society would be able to make smarter choices, such as opting for nuclear power technology. (Disregard the inconvenient fact that radioactive waste would have to be shipped across the country.)

He then goes on to blame Sen. Harry Reid for avoiding a public referendum on Yucca Mountain and going straight to the Obama administration to scuttle the project. It would be so much better, he says, if the public were made aware of the facts about nuclear power so it could support these referendums.

But he does a 180 when he praises Gov. LePage’s proposed legislation for making “it easier to site a small nuclear plant in Maine.” Why “easier”? Because this proposal eliminates Maine’s right to hold a referendum on hosting a future nuclear plant.

It seems that Mr. Duarte is in favor of only those nuclear referendums that he believes his side will win. If he truly had respect for the collective ability of Mainers to make an informed decision on whether nuclear energy should proliferate in our state, why begrudge us the opportunity to weigh in with our votes?

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