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In his Aug. 14 letter, “Power-saving mindset has limits,” James Dobson makes some good points about the lack of a long-term conservation ethic in modern society. Personally I don’t like to use air conditioners or watch TV, although I admit I enjoy the Internet. All three of these devices use considerable amounts of electricity when used on a large scale.

People seem to have a religious belief in the importance of electronic devices. For example, even when it is not that hot, the air conditioner must be switched on because it is “summer,” and the heater must be automatically switched on in winter. I find this silly given that you can enjoy free warm air in summer and free cool air in winter. By dressing cool in summer and warm in winter the problem is solved!

Dobson clings to the dangerous and naive notion that nuclear power can be safe. The idea that the Fukushima No. 1 power station was “outdated” and therefore prone to catastrophe is incorrect. As the article published in the Atlantic Wire by Jake Adelstein and David McNeill, “Meltdown: What Really Happened at Fukushima?” makes abundantly clear, the earthquake itself smashed the buildings and pipes that cool the reactors long before the tsunami arrived at the location. This was the obvious primary reason for the disaster.

Is Dobson implying that engineers can build earthquake-proof nuclear power stations? I’m afraid the nuclear industry’s history of falsification and wrongdoing does not inspire my confidence to think they could do so in the future.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

richard wilcox

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