Readers comment on business news

Published May 18 2013

Math guts nuclear myth | May 12

Significant costs untallied

Some very significant costs associated solely with nuclear plants were omitted from the article.

During the nuclear plant's 60-year operating life, what will it cost to regularly remove, contain, transport and store (basically forever) all the radioactive waste regularly generated at the plant (i.e. spent fuel rods, containment suits, coolant, tools, etc.)?

At the end of the nuclear plant's 60-year operating life, what will it cost to dismantle, package, transport and store all the razed radioactive building materials, soil, tools and heavy equipment in perpetuity?

Can this now-vacant parcel of land be used for building, say, an elementary school? Or will it become a hazardous radioactive site requiring a 24/7 guard against trespassers? That adds even more costs.

Steven Hunt, St. Petersburg

Nuclear plants offer benefits

The May 12 article "Levy nuclear plant more costly than a natural gas facility" fails to account for the economic and environmental benefits the two nuclear plants would bring to Florida. Progress Energy Florida, now Duke Energy Florida, determined in 2008 that the Levy nuclear plants would benefit the state by providing fuel diversity and price stability for consumers while avoiding air emissions.

In 2012, Florida generated 68 percent of its electricity from natural gas, a significant increase from 47 percent in 2008. Floridians may recall that in 2008 and 2009, the state endured its highest-ever electricity costs when natural gas prices were hitting all-time highs. Five years later, Florida relies even more on natural gas.

Just like a diversified financial portfolio is important for investors, so is a diversified energy portfolio for consumers. By relying ever more heavily on natural gas, Florida is putting itself in an increasingly vulnerable position if and when natural gas prices change.

Further, if natural gas plants are built instead of the two Levy nuclear plants, the gas plants will consume nearly 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and emit more than 500 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over 60 years.

The Levy nuclear plants will help Florida manage and balance any future that includes changes in carbon regulations and natural gas fuel costs, and an overreliance on any one form of electricity generation.

Richard Myers, vice president, Nuclear Energy Institute

Postal Service posts $1.9B loss | May 11

Time to let FedEx take over

Congress, are you listening? It is time to ask Federal Express to take over the post office and end the pension problem. As long as postal workers know their union will protect them, too many will provide unacceptable and/or unpleasant service along with typical government finger-pointing as to who is at fault.

Kay Grifiths, Redington Beach