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RESPONSES: Nuclear power for Jamaica – good or bad? |Omar Brown


Over the past several months, The Gleaner has published articles and letters presenting contrasting views on the suitability of small nuclear power plants as a key part of the country’s energy source. These appear to be in response to pronouncements on the matter from the Government and other sources.

A careful reading of all the published responses in The Gleaner leads one to infer that implementation of this idea will inevitably have either profoundly positive or negative long-term impact on the country.

The sharp contrast between supporting and opposing views is a sure sign that the matter is worthy of more thorough, rigorous, objective, and transparent scrutiny. But as of now, the country has not been afforded the benefit of sufficient credible information to understand and appreciate the full implications that nuclear power would have for the nation. Consequently, public support or opposition is likely to be rendered partly based on inadequate information, and partly on the basis of subjective leaning towards or against the proponents, their messengers and agents.

Such a process could be immensely problematic. Sound decisions cannot be made based on inadequate or faulty information. Public support for, or opposition to, those decisions would also be fraught with difficulty because it would rest on shaky foundations.

I have no particular knowledge of nuclear power and do not know any of the authors of relevant articles and letters published in The Gleaner. From what I’ve read, the two most credible authors among them are Dr Dennis Minott, whose expert knowledge of the subject has produced a rich, convincing body of credible facts, with rational analysis supporting his conclusions; and Ambassador Byron Blake, whose critical, objective analysis, supported by verifiable established facts, are the foundation for his conclusions. In this manner, these authors are the most persuasive in concluding that Jamaica should not invest in multiple nuclear power plants, as this would have significant, undesirable long-term consequences for the country.

Hopefully, other experts and critical analysts will add to the discussion and guide the decision that is best for Jamaica.

Written to the Gleaner by: OMAR BROWN

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