PG&E's Humboldt Bay reactor operated for nearly 13 years from August of 1963 to July of 1976 ("44 Feet," Sept. 15). While PG&E was claiming nuclear power at Humboldt Bay was "safe, clean and economical," Science Magazine called PG&E's nuclear facility "one of the dirtiest nuclear power plants in the nation" in its June 18, 1971 edition. Science Magazine is a peer-reviewed academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is one of the world's top academic journals. Was the Humboldt Bay nuclear facility economical? It cost $33 million to build and the cost of decommissioning the Humboldt reactor has run over $1 billion. The ongoing cost of dealing with the nuclear waste has become an albatross around PG&E's neck and what to do with it has become a gut-wrenching controversy. Doctors John Gofman and Arthur Tamplin, world renowned nuclear researchers stated, "... the illusion of a safe amount of radiation has pervaded all of the highest circles concerned with the development and promotion of nuclear power. The Congress, the nuclear manufacturing and electric utility industries have all been led to believe some safe amount of radiation does indeed exist. They were hoping to develop this industry with exposures below this limit — a limit we now know is anything but safe."
And while it's true the Humboldt reactor is gone, we still have 37 tons of high-level radiation waste precariously sitting on Buhne Point 44 feet above sea level!
Bob Rowen, Redding