What are the next targets?

Matt Bivens, writing in The Nation, asks if we’ve considered, really considered Nuclear Safety and the prospect of a nuclear power plant being the next terrorist target. “And if we can clean up and rebuild after the World Trade Center bombing, a radiological attack would force us to write off huge swathes of land as national sacrifice areas.”

The only good news here is that terrorists are much less likely to successfully hijack another commercial airliner any time soon, because these plants are wide open targets and crashing anything from a 727 to a 767 into one would have devastating results. And some terrorists are already thinking about them as targets.

Nuclear power plants provide around 20% of our national power supply but Bivens questions if we really need them. This article touches on the possibility only briefly but does say that we could eliminate them by reducing the demand for energy. The Rocky Mountain Institute, a prominent think-tank on energy matters, argues that “up to 75 percent of the electricity used in the United States today could be saved with energy efficiency measures that cost less than the electricity itself.”