The Electrical Worker online
April 2017

Letters to the Editor index.html Home    print Print    email Email

Go to
How 'Clean' is Nuclear?

After reading the February cover article, "First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Opens Off Atlantic Coast," I was elated! Jobs, clean energy. What more can we hope for? Then I turned to page 7 ("Now Hiring: New Life and New Jobs at Illinois Nuclear Plants"). By the third paragraph I was deflated!

I've heard commercials from the power companies grouping nuclear with solar and wind as clean energy, but to read it in The Electrical Worker shocked me. Nuclear plants may be non-carbon emitting, but that can't be the only criteria for being considered clean energy. Can it?

Many union brothers and sisters have worked at nuclear plants and know it's all timed how long anyone can even work around one. No one is limited how long they can work around a solar panel, inverter or wind turbine. Solar and wind products don't leave behind waste that can't be recycled or contained. You can't swim in the waters anywhere near a nuclear plant. What does that tell you?

As a union member who went through the five-year apprenticeship, I understand the importance of jobs. But why do we hang on to these old technology jobs? Did anyone worry about the iceman's family or the toll both collectors? Maybe, but new jobs were created in place of those jobs. It's never an easy transition but necessary nonetheless.

To ignore the harm that nuclear plants cause will more than likely leave us without drinking water and food.

Dominic Cicerale, Local 728 member
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Editor's Note: Global climate change is attributed to carbon dioxide and nuclear power is our only source of baseload generation that doesn't come with harmful emissions. Wind and solar are important sources of renewable energy, and we continue to train our members for more of these and other jobs of the future. The stability of our electric grid, however, needs non-carbon-emitting baseload energy. The only source of that is nuclear power.

IBEW_Facebook  From Facebook: Every month the IBEW Facebook page receives thousands of comments from our dynamic and engaged community of members and friends.

What's Wrong with Right-to-Work

Right-to-work is not good for American workers, union or nonunion. It's a blight on the working people who want to better their standard of living and prepare for the future with the one thing we all need and want in this world, money! Benefits and security for workers and families. There are some in this country and around the world who would deny you this. Fight back. Call your representatives and tell them how you feel about their right-to-work legislation and to stop it. We want a life that is fair and just for all.

Pete C. Brisette, Local 3 retiree
Riverview, Fla.

Heroes in the Snow

Regarding the article (posted at and featured in this edition of the Electrical Worker) "Record Snow Turns Out Calif. Lights; IBEW Turns Them Back On" that featured Vacaville, Calif., Local 1245, well done IBEW! My home local after 43 years in the trade was Local 1245. During my long career I worked out of Seattle Local 77; Portland, Ore., Local 125; Phoenix Local 387; and Medford, Ore., Local 659.

Craig McLaren, Local 1245 retiree
Portland, Ore.

Healthy Members, Healthy Unions

My husband's IBEW local, San Mateo, Calif., Local 617, pays for pre-apprentice health care — health care benefits before they are admitted to the program. Amazing! Unions take care of their members and fight to protect workers' rights — the right to a decent wage, benefits and standard of living.

Lori Amoroso Heizmann, wife of Local 617 member Emil B. Heizmann
San Mateo, Calif.