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Wind article was incomplete

To the Editor,

This article appropriately conveys that land-based commercial wind energy projects in Virginia confront   “a lot of conflicting land uses” [“Harnessing the wind and sun,” April issue].
However, it does its readers a disservice by showcasing Highland New Wind while ignoring the numerous problems faced by this proposed project, including a pending complaint under the Endangered Species Act, potential issues with the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the proximity to a National Register Civil War battlefield/encampment and pollution problems associated with extensive earth disturbance in the headwaters of Laurel Fork, one of Virginia’s highest quality and most-pristine native brook trout streams.

Rick Webb

Nuclear’s real impediment is its huge cost

To the Editor,

All power sources have environmental impacts [“Quake doesn’t shake nuclear support in Virginia,” April issue]. Current information seems to indicate that the contamination released from the Japanese plants will cause significantly less human health impact than a similar sized coal- or oil-fired plant would have in normal operation. It is also straightforward to build new plants to be more resistant to this type of event.

Most people understand nuclear provides clean, safe and reliable energy. Those who live closest to them report the greatest support, because they know it from personal experience.
The only real impediment to new nuclear construction is the huge and unnecessary cost imposed by our outdated regulatory system. That is the main reason Asian countries can build them in half the time and at half the cost. They don’t spend decades with very high-paid people doing make-work reviews that have no real effect on safety. 
Why not just require every power plant of any kind to have insurance to compensate anyone whose property or health they harm? Insurance systems are much more efficient than our command and control bureaucrats, and many billions can be shaved off the federal deficit to boot.

Dwight E. Baker, PE

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