From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Nuclear Power; Kevin Smith

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Host Scott Simon reads from listener emails and comments.


Youre listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.

Time now for your letters.

(Soundbite of typing and music)

SIMON: Last Saturday, we spoke with environmentalist Stewart Brand about the Obama administration support of nuclear energy. Mr. Brand said he also supports nuclear power.

Naomi Franklin(ph) of Salt Lake City, Utah, says: Regrets to Scott Simon for his half-sided conversation with Stewart Brand. Yes, nuclear energy is an efficient energy source, low in CO2 emissions and productive. For me, however, the hazard of nuclear is the unending, insidious radioactivity, so hazardous to human health. The more we extract uranium from the earth, the more were exposed to its long-lived cancer-generating impacts.

Turco Simms(ph) of Atascadero, California, writes: Even if we were to ignore the safety issues, nuclear pollution is nuclear proliferation. The financial costs of nuclear power make it a non-starter. (Unintelligible) governmental support and direct investment, interest free loans, tax incentives, insurance, indirect support, and it cannot compete on the open market. By the way, I live near a nuclear power plant and the only ones who appreciate having it as a neighbor are the folks that work there.

But David Passage(ph) of Washington, D.C. says: Brand is absolutely right. Nuclear power is the only realistic alternative to coal for large scale electricity generation.

And this from Jim Foster(ph) of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Like Mr. Brand, Im a dedicated environmentalist. But Ive growing tried with the almost religious absolutism of the environmental movement. Nuclear is not a magic bullet, but it is surely part of the solution to winning in our planet from its addiction to fossil fuels.

Finally, a couple of letters in response to my essay last week about Kevin Smith, the plus-size film director who was ordered off a Southwest Airlines plane for being too big for his seat.

Marry Ann Finley(ph) of Boulder Colorado, who is 5-foot 3-inches tall, writes: I have been sat on, sweat on and otherwise been made uncomfortable for hours. The last time I flew, I put down the arm and refused to allow it to be put back up. I paid for a whole seat and I should not have to give up part of it because others do not fit. My comfort matters too.

Antish Parnelle(ph) of San Francisco wrote on our Web site: Im fat enough to require two seats so I am reacting from my own bias. Is there really no way to create a few seats that accommodate fat people in the same way we accommodate the needs of the handicapped? Do I have a right to comfort and access? I am a fat woman who wants the fullness of my humanity to be reflected upon, as often my size is hated.

We want to hear from you. We welcome your thoughts. You can come to and click on Contact Us. You can also reach us on Facebook,, and on Twitter @nprweekend, all one word, and Im nprscottsimon, all one word.

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