Robert Boyle's revealing article (The Nukes Are In Hot Water, Jan. 20) should be reprinted and sent to every state fish and game commission. In addition to thermal pollution, nuclear plants of large size have another disadvantage, particularly when they are clustered. Scientists at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the State University of New York, Albany, have calculated that if Con Edison is allowed to nest six giant reactors in the Indian Point neighborhood, 24 miles north of New York City, the weather in the lower Hudson River Valley will be adversely affected. Under certain atmospheric conditions, fogs 400 feet deep will form for miles up and down river. There will be fewer days of good weather for sportsmen, hazards to navigation and icing along valley roads during the winter.
This holds true regardless of whether the utility dumps the hot water in the river, which appears to be its present intention, or resorts to cooling towers before returning the water. Present inefficient nuclear reactors must dissipate so much heat that it will change the weather no matter how it is discharged—into the river or into the air via cooling towers.
The far greater danger from nuclear power plants, however, is the gradual pollution of the environment from low-level radioactive wastes which all present plants routinely discharge into the air and water. How these materials are absorbed and concentrated by aquatic organisms is not fully understood, but some of them travel through the food chain in the same manner as does DDT and wind up permeating all forms of life, including man. Let us be spared this new and perhaps ultimate class of pollutants.
Conservation Center for Westchester
White Plains, N.Y.
Nuclear News is indeed honored to have its name mentioned in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED; however, I am writing to assure your readers that the "couldn't care less" reference in your "nukes" article does not apply to us, because we care a great deal. The column from which Robert Boyle took his so-called "joke" is an obvious satire and one that is also labeled as such. It ridicules the very attitude your writer says we are encouraging. Thermal effects from nuclear power plants "prompt no laugh-in" with us either, and we devote serious editorial material to this subject in almost every issue. For the latest, most objective and authentic statement on the problem—what it is, how bad it is and what may be expected in the future—your attention is invited to a recent report by the U.S. Office of Science and Technology, "Considerations Affecting Steam Power Plant Site Selection," which is available to your every reader for $1.25 from the Superintendent of Documents. This report is indicative that the appropriate authorities are aware of the problem, are doing extensive research on it and are making positive recommendations on how the power industry can meet the water-quality criteria required to save the environment your author says we are out to destroy.
February 3, 1969
As a longtime subscriber to your fine magazine I find it unfortunate that my first letter must be a complaint about The Nukes Are In Hot Water.
As a journalism student and former newsman I have always been taught to check my facts. Obviously Mr. Boyle didn't or he would have found that the Millstone Point plant is not being built by United Illuminating but by the operating companies of Northeast Utilities—The Connecticut Light and Power Company, The Hartford Electric Light Company and Western Massachusetts Electric Company.
He also would have found that the young canoeists who checked Connecticut River temperatures were using standard thermometers, hardly the most sophisticated measuring instruments.
WILLIAM J. KEVENEY
North Haven, Conn.
•Northeast Utilities, which now also includes Holyoke Water Power Company, is the builder of the Millstone Point plant. Connecticut Yankee officials concede that on the day river temperatures were tested by the canoeists the discharge reading was 97°, but they dispute the low reading of 72° 1,000 yards upstream. An incontestable fact: there was plenty of hot water around and below the nuke.—ED.
Allow me to congratulate you on Mr. Boyle's excellent article on the dangers of thermal pollution. This is a problem which will increase as increasing population pressures make the demands for power go ever higher. As the article points out, thermal pollution research is a rather new area and there is much to be learned. It seems to me that having learned the lessons we have from indiscriminate use of pesticides and other things that have meddled with the ecological balance of the planet, we would be very careful to determine in advance the effects of thermal pollution before we go blindly ahead building the plants.
The article was a shocking eye-opener. It is unfortunate that, with such obvious injustices being committed by certain industries, more pressure has not been brought from higher echelons. The bills being sponsored by Senator Kennedy and Representative Ottinger require immediate consideration.
ALBERT M. PAVESE
West Point, N.Y.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is to be commended for the excellent article about the thermal pollution dangers of nuclear power plants. Writing of this kind, like the report of the proposed flooding of a botanical wonderland in Kentucky that appeared some months ago (Operation Build and Destroy, April 1), does much to keep the sporting public informed of these issues, which should be the concern of all, sportsmen and others.
ROGERS W. REDDING
Dept. of Chemistry
WHAT DEBBIE SAID
I have been misquoted on page 8 of your Jan. 27 issue. I did not at any time criticize our Olympic swimsuits. What I once said was that I would like to help design a dress and parade uniform for the '72 Olympics.
•SI regrets misquoting Debbie, who last week won the Sullivan Award.—ED.
Your quote in the They Said It section of SCORECARD (Jan. 27) concerning Debbie Meyer's opinion of the U.S. swimsuits was completely erroneous. Miss Meyer was referring to the dress and parade uniform issued to all Olympic athletes. I would like to point out that White Stag-Speedo was the suit selected for all U.S. swimmers for the 1964 Olympics, the 1967 Pan-American Games and the 1968 Olympic Games. Every finalist at the U.S. Olympic Trials wore White Stag-Speedo by his own choice; 27 of the 28 swimmers who won gold medals at the Olympic Games wore this suit; and 84% of the finalists also competed in White Stag-Speedo. This suit was not only worn by the U.S. Olympic swimmers, but it was also the official suit of 33 other nations. It is easy to see how misleading and damaging your quote was to our company.
WILLIAM M. LEE
North American Manager
Palo Alto, Calif.
I never thought the day would arrive when I would be writing to SI to commend Tex Maule for an objective assessment of the Jets' triumph in the Super Bowl (Say It's So, Joe, Jan. 20).
Mr. Maule, as virtually every red-blooded devotee of the AFL knows, has long been a thorn, and a very painful one at that, in our collective sides. And thus it seemed—on the face of it—that Mr. Maule would never allow himself to be placed in the position of having to write anything nice about the league that some people labeled Mickey Mouse. But his chronicle of the New Yorkers' victory over the "mighty" Colts has proved otherwise.
If it has been cricket—and it has been—to criticize Mr. Maule, now it is only fair to commend him. Mr. Maule's rather remarkable demonstration of fair-mindedness in his coverage of the Super Bowl gives rise to some expectations that next football season the AFL, having achieved parity with the NFL on the playing field, will be granted the same in the pages of SI.
GEORGE S. MITROVICH
The rumor out here is that after the first quarter of the Super Bowl, Pete Rozelle frantically phoned NBC-TV and said, "For God's sake, put on Heidi!"
L. F. OSBORNE, M.D.
Who is he? He's the hero of every schoolboy in America. He's the idol of every girl who has ever heard his glorious name. He's now considered by many sports authorities the greatest football player who ever lived. Who is he? He is a long-haired, dirty-looking, hippyish loudmouth. What's his name? Joe Namath.
Hooray for the Jets. Joe was great, but what is he drinking on your Jan. 20 cover? Green champagne? Lime water? Or the product mentioned in an article in SI a few months ago—Gatorade (The Bottle and the Babe, July 1)?
DAVE P. DUTRA
Santa Clara, Calif.
•Namath was drinking Bike Half-Time Punch, a product of The Kendall Co. and one of several liquid refreshers (among them: Gatorade, produced by Stokely-Van Camp, and Sportade, put out by Becton, Dickinson & Co.) currently used by athletes and teams to replenish body salts and fluids.—ED.
I was born and raised in Webster-Groves, Mo., an environment that epitomizes the culture described in Pat Ryan's article, Once It Was Only Sis-Boom-Bah (Jan. 6). Yet, for the first time I was acutely embarrassed to have been linked with the Midwest—not so much for myself but for Purdue's cheerleaders and its head-in-sand professor.
CHRISTOPHER A. MILL
New York City
As a student at Purdue University, I was anything but proud of my cheerleaders after reading the article. It did appear that of the Purdue cheerleaders only Pam King thought about things more meaningful than scrapbooks of Rose Bowl trips, Thunder-birds and victories over Notre Dame. The sorry story is that the attitudes expressed by the other cheerleaders are too often found among the students at Purdue and other schools. You quoted one cheerleader as saying the sentiment here in the recent election was for Wallace. That was hardly the truth (a campus referendum before the election showed 62% for Nixon and 4% for Wallace). Still, the deplorable attitudes of bigotry and hate do exist. Too many students, as the assistant director of admissions said, are all engrossed in calculus and chemistry and give little thought to important issues, the future of this nation and what should be their most significant contribution to mankind. To the administrators, these attitudes should serve as a warning that something is wrong in the educational process.
JOHN F. SHIREY
West Lafayette, Ind.
Your study of American collegiate cheer-leading typifies SI at its best. Sport is so much more, and so much more important, than statistics or personalities. Sport is culture. You people recognize this fact; indeed, you champion it.