I WRITE to express my disappointment that, at least up to now, the Catholic Herald seems to show bias in writings on Nuclear Energy or in selection of letters printed.
I refer to Sr Bertell's letter (March 13). It is apparently not the uranium which is the problem in the Marshall Islands but fractured coral supporting a type of seaweed which renders fish toxic. Surely the Pacific atolls are subject to constant and widespread fracturing of the coral by the regular heavy seas — and sand of such islands is powdered coral! I do not defend the missile testing, surely we have enough destructive power already. I merely suggest that this is one of the many cases where antinuclear feeling is dragged out of a non-nuclear context to the detriment of peaceful uses of nuclear power.
You have given Sr Bertell considerable publicity and a lengthy supportive review of her book. Some of your readers seem to regard her writing as more authoritative than other opinions expressed, although her book contains patent errors of fact.
I had a considerable regard for Mgr Kent although I do not share all his conclusions. When our local Deanery invited him to speak to us he had much of great value to say. It is good that priests and religious should devote themselves to causes that they see to be good, but when the cause becomes more important than the priesthood then something is sadly amiss and represents, to me, an example of the eccentricity which is found among some of the anti-nuclear activists.
Chris Feetenby (March 13) as usual, presents a lucid argument. The issue I would take with him concerns his oversimplified choice between the laws of physics and human safety considerations. The essence of safe design is to USE the laws of physics to ensure that certain events can NOT happen. The Chernobyl reactor design is inherently defective in this context in addition to the acknowledged disregard of safety procedures by its operators. It is not guesswork to point out that practices in this country are different, and to make the public fear British nuclear power stations on account of Chernobyl, though understandable, is invalid.
Nuclear power (not weapons), the driving force of the universe, is one of God's greatest gifts to the human race. Like all His gifts we must use it responsibly, but it is given to be used.
J K Lockley