A new generation of nuclear power plants are on line

Readers respond to The National's coverage and events of the day.

The business article Meltdown fears spark nuclear debate (March 15) noted that the disaster at Japanese nuclear plants has caused doubts about the future of nuclear power. Much of the noise being ratcheted up against nuclear power is from quarters that are professionally opposed to nuclear energy and, often, are paid advocates for closing all nuclear plants down.

The fact is that Japan chose to use nuclear power after it became the only country in the world to come under nuclear attack. The Japanese people could not have taken this decision lightly. It is also certain that Japan will continue to use nuclear energy in the future. Would that some of the anti-nuclear voices would recognise this fact.

In any case, if the older crop of reactors are considered "unsafe", (though this has not been proven so far even through the terrible crisis in Japan), there are newer technologies in the nuclear power sector offering small plants based on nuclear submarine power plant technology that are about to be launched for commercial power generation by the US and Russia.

The possibility of a meltdown would be zero with these plants and at 25 to 100 megawatt outputs they would be ideal for serving smaller communities around the world like the large batteries that you connect to for a limited period of time. If safety alone were a concern, then these would be promoted more actively by those who feign horror at what is happening in Japan. That, sadly, is not the case, indicating the motivated anti-nuclear approach that these quarters are promoting.

Mehul Kandar, US

Paying for a whole unwanted bundle

Further to the comments in the letter to the editor Wrong number on unwilling transfer (March 16), I have had a similar experience.

In October 2010, I went to Etisalat to apply for Al Shamil (internet only) service. Unexpectedly, customer service told me that Al Shamil service is no longer provided even though it was clearly advertised on the Etisalat website (up until this day).

I was told I had no other option than the eLife bundled services, which is more costly as it includes landline and TV channels. As I don't need landline and TV channels, I refused to proceed with my application and so I opted to search for another service provider. Of course I found no better option.

As I need the internet line so desperately for my studies, I forced myself back to Etisalat and applied (and paid) for more than what I needed. I believe a lot of people don't need the bundled services but were forced to sign up. Etisalat needs to be more flexible on the offers and restore the Al Shamil service.

Evi Puspasari, Abu Dhabi

Evision and Etisalat have once again shown mismanagement. Evision surprised viewers who were trying to access BBC in the early morning on channel 35. They found the Sharjah Arabic programme. Most other channels like Al Jazeera, CNN or Dubai One were not at their old channels either. Evision wanted to show some effort on its part in the name of an upgrade and reorganisation so they decided to change the numbering of the channels. It is now a game of hide and seek. In the final stages of the Cricket World Cup, they decided to "stump" the viewers.

Etisalat, which usually sends useless sms messages, could have sent advanced warning. Or used a press release or email. No such obligation, no such realisation, no such customer care.

Kanwar Hayat, Dubai

Opposite side of the PKK coin

In reference to Ankara welcomes arrests of PKK activists in West (March 16), the author is trying to paint a picture that Kurds are troublemakers and Turkey is applying the rule of law, while the truth is the opposite. Turkish human right violations and oppression of Kurds for years forced Kurdish youths to follow the path of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Dario Roco, UK

Falling standards of football referees

I refer to the sports article Some referees are robots (March 11). I can't wait to see Mike Dean ending his career as a ref. He seems to despise Manchester United. It seems that controversial decisions are being made by him week in, week out.

I think the standard of refs in general is in a slump. Howard Webb did get almost every single game between top teams a couple of seasons in a row, and I couldn't really see why, since I didn't think he was that much above the rest. But given the performances by other refs in top games of late, I must say I'd actually prefer having Webb refereeing almost every single top encounter from now on.

How many game-deciding mistakes have we seen in the Premier League from refs this year? I've lost count. I hope there will soon be some young referee talents coming up because the the Premier League needs it for sure.

Peter Rusten, Dubai