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Bad Artists Steal, Too
In mentioning the works George Lucas “borrowed and repurposed” in the making of Star Wars, Ross Douthat omits the films of Japan’s Akira Kurosawa — but I forgive him, because he is so spot-on in his criticism of Star Trek: Into Darkness and its director, J. J. Abrams (“To Boldly Flunk,” June 17).

Today’s filmmakers destroy planets and kill off leading characters as a means of getting from Point A to Point B. We used to call such ham-fisted plot devices “not having a better idea.”

I was also flabbergasted by how shamelessly the film stole from The Wrath of Khan without offering more to justify the larceny. Similarly, Abrams’s film Super 8 is interesting only until we realize we are watching ET in a different wrapper.

Mike Brown
Tulsa, Okla.

Nuclear Power Up Close
William Tucker’s “Wasted” (June 17) was right on.

Years ago there was a saying attributed to Peter Fonda: “The worst thing that could happen to America is to find a clean, cheap source of power.” I started working at my first nuclear facility, a Navy training site, in December 1965, and I retired from the industry in 2012. I saw support for nuclear energy wax and wane during that time.

We have enough uranium available to supply all our electricity needs, using breeder reactors, for 2,000 years. If we had unfettered access to nuclear power, we could be virtually energy independent. But as Tucker notes, that option has disappeared for political reasons.

The article also notes the benefits of recycling nuclear waste. When Yucca Mountain was in its early stages, anti-nuclear activists traveled to cities along potential shipping routes and scared people by exaggerating the possibility of an accident.

In all of my 40-plus years of working around reactors, I have received a small fraction of the radiation dose that an airline pilot receives over the same period.

Frank Brush
New Strawn, Kan.

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