Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” In Harvey Wasserman’s syndicated Progressive Perspectives column, published May 20 (Page A7), I found many of his “facts” without citations and, therefore, considered them his opinion. His criticism of the engineering design and construction of the nuclear power plants in our country is misplaced.

The atomic-powered submarine USS Nautilus hits the water in the Thames River at Groton, Conn., on Jan. 21, 1954, at the official launching, starting the Navy’s nuclear program. Associated Press/File

Early in my engineering career, I worked on the design of naval nuclear power plants for submarines and surface vessels. I worked with some of the most dedicated and brilliant engineers in the country, and we worked under stringent specifications and constant surveillance by numerous government agencies. The chief agency was the U.S. Navy under the program headed by Adm. Hyman Rickover.

The Navy’s nuclear program started with the launch of the USS Nautilus at Groton, Connecticut, on Jan. 21, 1954. To my knowledge there has never been a nuclear accident in the Navy, a remarkable safety record for a very complicated propulsion system.

We face the serious existential threat of global warming. What we need is a debate on the best course to take to alleviate this problem. This can come about only by a debate based on the facts involved. Nuclear power can play a role in our future and can make alternate energy sources like solar and wind possible. The electric grid needs a source of continuous electricity generation. When the sun does not shine and the wind doesn’t blow, we need a source of continuous power. Nuclear power can be that source.

Ivan G. Most, Sc.D.
retired professional engineer
Old Orchard Beach

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