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June 06, 1979 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1979-06-06

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Page 4-Wednesday, June 6, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Michigan Daily
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI. 48109
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 25-S News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
Detroit can wvoo
DeMS With A2aid
I T RAINED yesterday as the Democratic Site
Selection Committee toured Ann Arbor, but
that shouldn't be taken as an omen. When the Joe
Lewis Arena on Detroit's riverfront is completed
in December, that city will boast the nation's best
convention facilities.
Ann Arbor's opportunity to play a supporting
role in the Motor City's resurgence should not be
overlooked, and the city as well as the University
should exert their proudest efforts in helping
Detroit secure a second 1980 convention.
Democratic delegates are expected to spend $80
to $100 a day in Detroit, but if they stay in Ann Ar-
bor, with its unique shops and restaurants, a por-
tion of that money will find its way into local casl
drawers. While it is difficult to pinpoint how much
more money the Democrats would bring to Ann
Arbor than the regular tourist trade, city mer-
chants certainly wouldn't lose money. In fact,
when delegates return to their home states,
perhaps they'll remember Ann Arbor and con-
sider it a viable site for smaller conventions in the
As urban areas across the country continue to
slide into deterioration, Detroit is scrambling
back to life. Ann Arbor should, in a friendly spirit,
do all it can to aid the impetus toward Detroit's
While the GOP, in choosing Detroit as its 1980
convention site, is out to woo the urban, poor, and
black voters it traditionally has missed,
Democrats could gain a liberal stronghold in the
predominantly Republican Midwest. Michigan
and- its neighboring states are headed by
Republican governors, but Michigan has many
Democratic voters. Detroit's labor unions, and
flamboyant Democratic Mayor Coleman
Young-a strong ally of President Carter-would
punch the Democrats a hole in the GOP Mid-
western doughnut.
The site selection committee is in Philadelphia
today, being shuffled on endless tours and courted
by marching bands in yet another city. The com-
mittee's members should look again at Detroit as
a site for their 1980 convention, and also should
perpend the towns that surround the Motor City,
all of them willing to provide a spur for the
rJe ig ian 1a tllg
LiSA CULBERSON ........................Business Manager
ARLENE SARYAN......Sales Manager
BETH WARREN......Display Manager
MARKSCHWARTZ..................... Classified Ad Manager
STAN BERKMAN..............National Advertising Manager
RANDY KELLEY..................... Operation Spervisaor
PETE PETERSEN. ..... Adveting C-ordnaor

Nuke protestors meet
utility execs at hearing
Anti-nuke activists were urged they were pleasantly
to attend a Public Service Cora- By JEANIE WYLIE teraction with the res
mission hearing Monday mor-
ning. Mary Sinclair, a leading and the early afternoon so that A bill, Senate B
Michigan protestor, assured Knecht would fly home without could alter the tra
everyone at the Monroe demon- elaborating on the issues that biance of governm
stration that their appearance in. most concerned him. will be reviewed
Lansing would have a real im- Senate Thursday. If
pact. For whatever reasons, only KNECHT SPENT his first half will provide consta
seven non-corporate people were hour on the stand defending his citizen ia-put int
at the hearing, five of whom were educational background. During energy policy-Makin
from Ann Arbor. the following two and a half would then be guara
The proceedings were dry. hours, he sipped water, kept his to attorneys, to witn
They lacked the appeal of the voice composed and responded professional, full-tin
varied singers and speakers in extremely carefully to what we could aid it in its cor
Monroe Saturday, but they did thought were needlessly specific utility demands.
have a charm of their own. Fif- questions. Any time Knecht
teen to twenty white men in tidy deviated, ever so slightly, from It is so reason
suits represented Consumers the questions asked, his democracy for co
Power Co. Seven of us in T-shirts testimony was struck from the have the right and th
mingled with them in a basement record and he was requested to fluence service ind
room that was carpeted and air- refrain from "volunteering in- ticularly when the
conditioned, reeking of the san- formation." require subsidies an
ctity of government tradition. In another hearing room Con- the health an
__ _a _r ..l .th

yteasing, in-
t of us.
ill 105, that
ditional am-
ent meetings
by the State
approved, it
nt funds for
o Michigan
g. The public
anteed access
esses and to a
me staff who
nsideration of
nable in a
nsumers to
e funds to in-
lustries, par-
e industries
d rate hikes.
d economic

sumers Power neontiated

hazards ofthe nucear i

IT WAS EVIDENT that neither petitioning the rate Consumers did not cme to
the questions asked . or the an- will pay over time for the even- tion before hundreds of
swers given at the meeting had tual decommissioning of its plants were already in o
much to do with what was ac- nuclear plants when that and under construct
tually of real significance. In the becomes necessary. Mary Sin- outrageous.
cautious words of the attorneys clair and an attorney expressed Mary Sinclair urges co
and the witness there was the concern over the amount of citizens to appear at the
tension of a fine suspense movie, money that the state would Thursday in support of S
except that for the unschooled authorize the utility to collect friendly attorney recom
audience the interaction was too prior to any related action on the that activists appear in c
subtle to be understood. The part of the utility companies. tive clothing without signs o
seven of us spent a fair amount of To effectively combat the
time' in the corridors trying to PDtRING.A ten minute recess industry and to introduc
piece together die progression of the protestors and corporate elements foreign to the
events, executives examined each other old boys" it loo
The witness, Ronald Knecht, is in friendly tension. A fair-haired though protestors
a member of the California Consumers Power representative have to adopt som
Energy Commission, who had asked one protestor why her no- room manners and skills.
been flown to Lansing by the nukeY-shirt didn't advertise that
Great Lakes Energy Alliance. He sex exposed people to more However, with or with
was being allowed to testify about radiation than a neighboring skills, there is no quest
the economic' hazards of the nuke plant. The logic, the intent the presence of activists
nuclear industry despite Con- and the propriety of the question noted. The utility exe
sumers Power's reluctance to was unclear to those of us who visible apprehension w
hear him. heard him. protestors entered the
Our analysis of the hearing As usual, the atmosphere in room indicated that they1
room discourse was that Con- this government building was forgotten or lost respect
sumers Power's attorneys, who dominated by the "good old type of activism refine
were rebutting Knecht's boys." Those most comfortable the sixties.
prepared statement, were trying and familiar with the setting had "
1) to discredit Knecht's exper- a back-slapping rapport with Jeanie Wylie is a Ut
tise and 2) to drag out their each other and a condescending, graduate who will attendC
questioning through the morning although I imagine they thought School of Journalism in thefa
Nukes can -be safe

's atten-
tion is
B 105. A
r slogans
e ocial
e "good,
ks as
e court
out these
ion that
s will be
hen the
have not
t for the
d during

To The Daily:
The nuclear power plant
disaster at Harrisburg, Pa. has
generated a great deal of heat but
little light on the issue of nuclear
power plant safety. Much atten-
tion has been given to the equip-
ment and design of the power
plants to insure safety - redun-
dancy, automatic controls, etc.,
But the major factor that insures
nuclear power plant safety is a
common sense one that has been
overlooked. '
An article in #cience (about a
year ago) pointed out that some
power companies, when they
plan to build nuclear plants, first
build up an engineering staff big
enough and competent enough to
effectively oversee the contrac-
tor who is building the plant.
Those power companies which
have such sizeable, competent.
engineering staffs before they

build the power plant, have no
difficulties during plant construc-
tion. Those power companies
which do not have such high
caliber engineering staffs before
they build the plant do have dif-
ficulties - sometimes very
serious ones - during construc-
tion of the plant.
And this, the article says,
carries over into plant operation.
Those power companies that built
a high caliber engineering depar-
tment first, and then built the
power plant, had no difficulties in
power plant operation and safety.
Their plants had enviable records
of low down time and little or no
radiation hazard to the environ-,
ment or to their operating per-
In short, safe nuclear power
plants can be built and they can
be operated safely. But it takes
more than good engineering

design and construction. It takes
a good engineering staff to over-
see the construction. Those
power companies which add this
precious ingredient - the human
factor of a capable in-house
engineering department - will
have their plants properly
designed, properly built, and
properly operated. Those who
skimp on this valuable ingredient
will have troubles in construction
and catastrophies in operation.
Admiral Rickover, the iron-
fisted czar of the Navy's nuclear
reactor program, has been com-
plaining bitterly, for decades,
that the private industry which
builds nuclear reactors will do
sloppy work if you let them get
away with it.
What the country needs is not
fewer nuclear power plants, but
more Rickovers.
'--Hyman Olken

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