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The Cold War Against Nuclear: Americans Have a Dim View of Nuclear Power via News in Brief

Americans are dimming on nuclear energy. While about 20% of the grid is fueled by nuclear power, just 44% of Americans are in favor of it, according to the latest Gallup poll. With issues reported at plants across the nation and the 2011 Fukushima meltdown, it’s no wonder people have soured on nuclear. That’s a dramatic change from 1994 when the question was first asked. Then 55% of respondents approved of nuclear energy.

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The Turkey Point Nuclear Power plant is leaking radiation into waters that flow to Biscayne Bay, the gateway to the Florida Keys and one of the most environmentally sensitive ecosystems in the U.S. A New York plant has similar fears.

War Games

That report comes out on the same week another aspect to America’s fixation with all things nuclear took a hit. As the world’s lone superpower, the U.S. has a nuclear weapons stockpile that puts teeth in any economic and foreign policy move. So who’s safeguarding it? Good question after it was reported that 14 members of an Air Force unit that guards nuclear missiles are being investigated for cocaine use.

The investigation at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, home of the 90th Missile Wing, near Cheyenne, Wy., was announced by Gen. Robin Rand, the four-star commander of Air Force Global Strike Command.

Not So Secure

The probe is a fresh blow to a nuclear missile corps that has been under scrutiny in recent years for a string of lapses in training and personal conduct. The command is responsible for the entire fleet of 450 Minuteman 3 nuclear missiles that stand in underground launch silos. The security personnel being investigated are responsible for securing the missile fields and convoys that move nuclear weapons. Feel safe?

Armageddon It

It’s no wonder Americans are having second thoughts about nuclear. For all its clean energy promises and threat deterrent blanket, we’re only one misstep away from the next disaster.

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