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You can’t let feelings cloud your judgment

May 22, 2013

Dear Sir,

Re my article on Bermuda’s need for nuclear power (

The Royal Gazette ‘What Bermuda needs is a nuclear power plant’, May 13).

I was not surprised by the responses. What worries me is that those people who were fervently against it are that way because of fear; not facts. I believe that very few Bermudians have a complete understanding of nuclear power. I wonder how many are mistaken to think that a nuclear reactor can blow up like a nuclear bomb?

These people have made up their minds before knowing all the facts. Will they make up their minds for some form of ‘sustainable’ or ‘green’ energy without knowing all the facts as well?

As a design engineer, I cannot start the design process thinking, “Hey, I want this design to impress the environmentalists,” or “This design will knock the socks off the media.” I can’t afford to use “feelings” to affect my designs. I must know all the facts. The pros and cons. It’s life cycle. Packaging requirements. Materials. Disposal. I must consider it all. The research takes more time than the design.

Based upon my research, a nuclear power plant will produce inexpensive power. Okay, so you are all against it. But, how do you reduce your electric bills?

* See your beautiful island like a huge cruise ship sailing the Atlantic similar to our nuclear submarine, but on a slightly larger scale. Everyone in our crew had the same goal. Everyone came together to make each mission successful. We had to or we could sink.

* Do not want Bermuda to sink so I have a few suggestions;

1. Create your own non-governmental committee to research power alternatives.

2. Make a list of all the power alternatives regardless of their feasibilities. Maybe different systems can be used in different areas of the Island. Keep an open mind. Look at the latest in micro-nuclear plants as well. The more you know the better.

3. Break up the committee to research each alternative.

4. Record:

a. Start up costs, land prep, permit fees, etc

b. Cost of system (solar panels, windmills, cabling). There are many types of solar panels, windmills, etc

c. Installation costs

d. Replacement costs

e. Electricity cost. Kilowatt/hour.

f. Cost of disposal of worn out components. Include their replacement cost.

g. The costs and benefits of every system.

h. Financing options.

5. Call in experts for each system and question them extensively. Have the list of questions ready. I would even go to the billionaires on the island for networking possibilities.

6. Then call in representatives of each potential company. Question them. Compare answers. Research any discrepancies.

7. Keep the people of the island updated on all findings. There always tends to be those shy but extremely shy ones in the background that may surprise you. Take feedback from everyone, including children. Your island has lots of very smart children.

8. Once the people have all the data at their disposal, they will be able to recommend and vote for the best system for their island.

This is a big job. This will take time and effort. But if done correctly, will help the island prosper. Can you do this?

DICK SCHLUETER

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Published May 23, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm)

You can’t let feelings cloud your judgment

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