Alstom site prime for small reactors and more letters to the editors

Alstom site prime for small reactors

Last Sunday's Times Free Press had a fascinating article by Dave Flessner about modernizing nuclear power. The nuclear power industry has about a hundred data points that show that building a one-of-a-kind nuclear power plant is not economical. Small modular nuclear plants will be a tremendous improvement because they will be built to a thoroughly engineered and standardized design in a factory with better cost, quality and schedule control.

I am glad TVA is taking the lead on this; however, there is one more thing TVA should demand from GE Hitachi in return for its financial support: The factory should be located in Chattanooga at the former Alstom plant. This would shorten the lead time needed to start manufacturing because new buildings and supporting infrastructure would not be needed. This facility has a history of producing nuclear reactors, so it is well suited for this purpose. This is a golden opportunity to bring a new industry with good paying jobs to the Tennessee Valley as well as providing a new source of clean, safe, reliable, carbon free electricity and keeping our money close to home.

Jim Olson

Encouraged about city’s train future

It was encouraging to read about U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg's support for expanding rail service in Tennessee (TFP, March 7). Having federal backing -- both political and financial -- is key to restoring, at least in part, this state's proud, important history as a hub of passenger train travel.

Chattanooga was once central to rail's golden age. Times changed, and Southeast Tennessee has been without train service for decades.

However, there seems to be some momentum to bring train service back to the region. The good news for us is that Chattanooga again appears to be at the center of things as elected officials, civic leaders and concerned citizens recognize the positive impact passenger trains would have on local economies throughout the state.

Again, as reported, Amtrak released a plan that has a rail line from Nashville to Atlanta with a stop in Chattanooga by 2035. Let's hope that, with funding from President Biden's infrastructure bill and a lot of hard work and advocacy by local folks, we don't have to wait another decade for our city to live up to its reputation as "Chattanooga Choo Choo."

Frank Maurizio

Editorial cartoon disappoints reader

I have never complained about offensive editorial cartoons, but it was disappointing that the conservative Free Press opinion page ran the "pot calling the kettle black" cartoon the day after Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox and news companies worldwide, was admitting, under oath, that its reporting of cheating voting machines and election fraud has been a complete lie, and that Fox's popular broadcasters had endorsed Donald Trump only for the super amounts of money the lies generated from the large numbers of viewers the lies attracted.

There is no analogy like the pot to the kettle. CNN and MSNBC report and discuss real news in an intelligent and truthful way. OK, they don't have many opposing guests, but they sure do show plenty of their quotes and clips. It is obvious Fox was created to support Republicans, and condemn Democrats. A former Australian prime minister makes my point by saying that Murdoch, formerly Australian, "has done more to undermine American democracy than any other individual alive today."

John Winesett

Lack of marathon coverage troubling

I was very disappointed the Chattanooga TFP did not cover the recent Chattanooga Marathon. This is a large-scale event that brings in participants and spectators from all over the country. The runners in both the full and half marathons have trained for many months for this prestigious competition. Hopefully, there will not be a repeat of this oversight at next year's marathon.

Clara Childress Register

Is a war on public schools being waged?

I do not understand the war currently being waged against our public schools. Public education has served us well. Public schools accept all children and are as close as we can come to assure all our children have an equal shot at success, regardless of status of home background.

This is bipartisan: No public education funds should be diverted to charter/private or whatever system is being planned.

Hope everyone will take time to contact your state representative/senator/governor and express your support for our public education system before it's too late.

Vivian Ervin

Lynchburg, Tenn.

Let our teachers teach all history

"Deutschland uber Aless" translates as "Germany over everything." This was both a motto and goal of Hitler. Very uncomfortable to hear or imagine the consequences. Black history in the United States is very uncomfortable to recall. It is our history. Discomfort does not define history; history defines history. Redefining history to address an issue of comfort is not only a travesty, but a tragedy.

Ron DeSantis is the governor of Florida and a possible candidate for U.S. president. I am not equating him to Hitler; I will leave that up to you. Let's think about what policies are being introduced in Florida. Books removed from school reading lists and libraries. Reason given: parental discomfort. Black history curricula is being recast; community discomfort claimed as the rationale. Gender issues somehow removed even from comment and, for certain, any written materials. General and poorly defined discomfort given as the reason.

My children were all educated in public schools. They are successful adults and thrive from the education they followed. They were exposed to challenging issues and encouraged to think them through and come to their own conclusions. My wish is that our politicians, and all those uncomfortable with what is taught in our schools, let professional educators deliver professionally designed curricula.

Irv Ginsberg

Loan forgiveness: No free lunches!

I couldn't disagree further than [a recent] editorial from the Los Angeles Times about the forgiveness of student loan debt. If one is a graduating high school student who has plans on further education to get a degree and a better job, one has to know from that education what the words "loan" and "borrowed" mean. These are the definitions I found for both words. "Loan": a thing that is borrowed, especially a sum of money that is expected to be paid back with interest. "Borrowed": take and use (something that belongs to someone else) with the intention of returning it. Or, take and use (money) from a person or bank under an agreement to pay it back later.

What kind of an example do we provide to the future of our young people if we don't hold them accountable for their actions? I'm all for providing access to student loans, including the possibility of making them more affordable, so that no one is saddled with an enormous debt in the future, but to make us responsible taxpayers foot the bill for this initiative is not [the same].

To those young people who find themselves in this situation, I'm sorry, but as the adage goes, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch!"

Kurt Piepenbrink