Groups want licensing of reactors suspended

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Environmental groups opposed to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's plan to license two new AP1000 reactors to be built at Plant Vogtle filed a new petition Wednesday asking the commission to suspend the licensing process until more is known about the evolving Japan disaster.

"It is apparent that while little is known definitively about the cause and impacts of what occurred at Fukushima, many aspects of the accident have grave consequences for U.S. nuclear plants, including the AP1000 reactors," said the petition, filed by the AP1000 Oversight Group, comprised of 12 environmental groups.

Southern Nuclear, which plans to use the Westinghouse reactor design at Vogtle, risks potential cost overruns if it moves ahead too quickly on the $14.8 billion project, said Sara Barczak, the program director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

"The original Vogtle project was the poster child for cost overruns," she said, noting that additional regulatory requirements inflated the original $660 million cost to more than $8 billion.

"To us, it doesn't appear much has changed today. Odds are that the lessons learned from Japan may very well drive costs up."

Southern Nuclear is in the final stages of its quest for a combined operating license that would authorize both the construction and operation of the new units in Burke County.

The AP1000 has been touted as the newest and safest of all reactor designs with a unique, passive cooling system that includes a reservoir of cooling water stored above the reactor.

In the event of an emergency, cooling water can flow into the system by gravity without electric or diesel powered or pumps whose tsunami-induced failure contributed to the Japan crisis.

Jim Warren of the North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network said Westinghouse also must resolve lingering issues with the AP1000 shield building design, which the NRC said could not meet impact standards associated with aircraft strikes or natural disasters, such as a tornado-propelled object.

The group also raised questions about the spent fuel storage plan, which Warren claimed was changed to higher-density storage to cut costs, despite a 2005 National Academy of Sciences warning that such "high density racking" makes the fuel storage pools more vulnerable to degradation or fire if there is even a partial loss of cooling water.

Southern Nuclear spokeswoman Beth Thomas said the company has no plans to postpone its Vogtle project.

"As it relates to the recent events in Japan, Southern Nuclear supports a safety review and incorporating lessons learned," she said. "We remain, however, fully committed to the Plant Vogtle construction project. We plan to have Unit 3 operational in 2016 and Unit 4 in 2017."

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Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 04/06/11 - 06:36 pm
0
0
These environmental groups

These environmental groups need to mind their own stinking business. Haven't they caused enough problems for our country?! The restraints they get the govt to put on businesses are crippling. Other nations don't abide by the same rules & they are pricing our manufacturers out of business. No wonder there aren't any jobs here anymore.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 04/06/11 - 09:51 pm
0
0
Advocates are claiming the

Advocates are claiming the new Westinghouse reactor design has a passive cooling system and in the event of an emergency, water will flow down by gravity and cool the reactor for up to three days. No electricity needed. That claim is only partly correct. Mechanical valves have to be operated to release the water and it's corporate brag to label it a passive system. Could Chernobyl or Fukushima happen in America. You betcha and don't for a minute think our Einstein fools are better than their Einstein fools. The Union of Concerned Scientist (UCS) say 14 near nuclear misses occurred in America in 2010.

A blow the top off nuclear accident is awesome and they've already had some explosions at the Japanese plant:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110406/sc_afp/ukrainenuclearchernobyljapan

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 04/07/11 - 05:16 am
0
0
All nuclear power plants

All nuclear power plants should be shut down until they are 100% guarenteed safe. All power plants that are coal-fired should be permanently shut down. All oil-fired power plants should be shut down until they can produce power with 0 emissions. Hydro-electric plants should be shut down until 0 fish are effected.

wribbs
436
Points
wribbs 04/07/11 - 06:47 am
0
0
Copperhead is right; energy

Copperhead is right; energy and energy production is killing this country. Until they can guarantee us all methods of producing energy are 100% safe they should shut them all down. Pipelines and trucks that transport fuel and natural gas are extremely dangerous and should also be shut down. Every day someone hits a power distribution pole; they should all be removed until they are sure they are 100% safe. Mount them on a spring so things bounce off them. Airplanes and hot air balloons hit transmission lines causing tens of deaths a year. Tear all of them down too. People are burned in house fires all the time, ban fire completely until they figure out a way to make it 100% safe. Ladders and high places should also be banned. This world is extremely dangerous and should be banned or shut down.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 04/07/11 - 09:19 am
0
0
Nuclear is in another league

Nuclear is in another league and not as trivial as the little misfortunes listed. Few businesses are so risky that the government has limited their liability and shifted the risk to the beguiled taxpayer. Nuclear power plants exceed the risk posed by all natural calamities such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes and tsunamis. Wreckage can be cleaned up, the area rebuilt and life will continue after a natural calamity. No so after a Fukushima nuclear accident. A large area of land will be so poisoned that it's uninhabitable. And people exposed to the fallout will suffer debilities and early deaths from cancer. Fukushima is a tragedy for Japan but it gives the rest of the world a chance to rethink the risk and alternatives. Nuclear may be in its' death throes but everything is coming up roses for generating electricity from natural gas, wind, water and solar.

SCEagle Eye
921
Points
SCEagle Eye 04/07/11 - 09:28 am
0
0
Is anyone in the

Is anyone in the big-government crowd out there willing to step up and defend why nuclear power should get tax-payer backed loan guarantees, which are larded on top of other subsidies? In the case of Georgia Power and the new Plant Vogtle AP1000 reactors, they intend to borrow more than $3 billion from the government (Federal Financing Bank). Why are we getting stuck with the cost and risk of new reactors? Sorry, big-government folks, but there are some of us fiscal conservatives who don't like picking up the cost and risk while others profit.

augsaltwater
0
Points
augsaltwater 04/07/11 - 10:08 am
0
0
Did you see how many people

Did you see how many people didn't make it because they were trapped in their cars when the tsunami hit?! They should be mandated to recall every single model of vehicle in which someone couldn't survive in during the tsunami, that is unacceptable, not safe and a ticking time bomb in this country.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 04/07/11 - 10:30 am
0
0
Nuclear is a swindle! In a

Nuclear is a swindle! In a league bigger than Bernie Madoff. The nuclear business is so subsidized that critics have said it would be cheaper for the taxpayer to go into the word marketplace, buy the megawatts and GIVE them away instead of building nuclear power plants. And no contamination risk either.

But that idea isn't likely to happen because it doesn't enrich capitalist, the investors and politicians would be deprived of lobby money. Nuclear lobbyist have pumped a half billion dollars to US politicians lately. And that's just what went above the table.

GaRealist
22
Points
GaRealist 04/07/11 - 10:34 am
0
0
Hey folks, what are you going

Hey folks, what are you going to do in the 50 or so years when oil runs out?? Everyone whines when they have to pay $3.50 per gallon for gasoline to use in their cars. What are you going to do when its $5 or $8 per gallon? You had better wake up!! I was born in the early 1960's and there is a good possibility that the world will run out of oil in my lifetime. Everything is hazardous. When Columbus sailed in 1492, it was perilous and everyone said it was fool hardy. When Edison was pushing the use of electricity, workers and the general public were injured. Running electricity in the early 1900's was perilous and risky. Folks died, but look at how mundane it is now just plugging in home appliances. You have to break a few eggs to make cake folks. There are risks taken by everyone everyday in normal living. We have to pave the way forward for the next generation instead of just sitting on our hands and do nothing but complaining. We need to quit thinking of just our selves.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 04/07/11 - 11:12 am
0
0
As we know it, the world's

As we know it, the world's oil supply will run out in the foreseeable future. But it's technically possible to convert solid coal to liquid oil. Cost will be a littler higher than the stuff pumped out of the ground. The larger problem is not running out of oil but it's a climate necessity that we stop burning fossil fuel and sending the combustion products into the atmosphere. That's the only valid bragging point for nuclear power. It does not contribute to greenhouse gases but uranium mining and processing does.

GaRealist
22
Points
GaRealist 04/07/11 - 11:34 am
0
0
Gaspringwater, while I agree

Gaspringwater, while I agree with you, if you lived in Augusta 30 to 40 years ago, you will remember the Ga Natural Gas "gas house" down where the EPA and Ga Natural Gas had to clean up. They converted coal and coal tar into natural gas there. The giant cylindrical tower that once stood near 9th and Walton Way was testament to what went on there. The Federal EPA had to condemn the blocks around where the plant once stood. Many people were displaced and the ground water in the area was tainted there for decades. The clean up of the entire area and the reworking of the canal in that area was all part of the clean up. If I had to choose which method of future energy to pursue, I would choose Nuclear Power. Yes, there are dangers, but what I remember of the clean up of the 9th Street area and what those residents endured for decades was far worse.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 04/07/11 - 12:08 pm
0
0
Old ways were not very

Old ways were not very considerate of the environment. I'm sure you're aware EPA is spending $3.5 million dollars to clean up water on Peach Orchard Road. A few years back a few dry cleaning businesses dumped toxic cleaning solvents on the ground and now it's leached down and contaminated the area's underground water.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2009/10/24/met_553105.shtml

It's a good example of people doing thoughtless things to make a buck. And liquid leakage at SRS can cause a similar but infinitely worse problem.

south of the gnatline
0
Points
south of the gnatline 04/07/11 - 12:28 pm
0
0
A nuclear engineer said one

A nuclear engineer said one design flaw of the AP1000 reactor is that under stress, it can "shatter like a glass cup." Nobody seems to think Burke County is in an earthquake zone, but check Georgia Earthquake History at the USGS website: "The great Charleston, South Carolina, earthquake of 1886 caused severe shaking experienced in Georgia. On August 31 at 9:25 p.m., preceded by a low rumble, the shock waves reached Savannah. People had difficulty remaining standing. One woman died of fright as the shaking cracked walls, felled chimneys, and broke windows. Panic at a revival service left two injured and two more were injured in leaping from upper story windows. Several more were injured by falling bricks. Ten buildings in Savannah were damaged beyond repair and at least 240 chimneys damaged. People spent the night outside.
At Tybee Island light station the 134 foot lighthouse was cracked near the middle where the walls were six feet thick, and the one-ton lens moved an inch and a half to the northeast.
In Augusta the shaking was the most severe (VIII on the Modified Mercalli scale) in the State. An estimated 1000 chimneys and many buildings were damaged. The business and social life was paralyzed for two days..."

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 04/07/11 - 01:47 pm
0
0
You're correct about this

You're correct about this area being an earthquake zone. Earthquakes are a serious threat in 46 of the United States. Please see the USGS National Seismic Hazard Map at:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080421193729.htm

But earthquakes are not the only hazards. Fire, equipment failure, operator's error or drug abuse, a large-scale power outage, cyber attack on the plant's operating computer or two whammies back to back could create the same disaster the Japanese are suffering with.

Here's an illustration. In 1975 a workman and his candle stared a fire that raged in Brown's Ferry Nuclear plant. Electrical and control cables were burned and the operators lost control of the reactor. The event was considered the nation's worse nuclear incident before Three Mile Island happened.

It's amazing! That people think we can make the devil our servant by penning him behind concrete walls and inside steel vessels.

jackragg
0
Points
jackragg 04/07/11 - 03:45 pm
0
0
gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 04/07/11 - 04:09 pm
0
0
Folks evacuated from

Folks evacuated from Fukushima are lounging around in shelters with nothing particular to do and maybe they can help you with your reminiscences. But they may be preoccupied and a little melancholy - You can't go home again!

jackragg
0
Points
jackragg 04/07/11 - 05:18 pm
0
0
I would probably agree with

I would probably agree with you except for some simple facts. The current crisis was caused by an earthquake and tsunami. Which incidentally has killed more people than the nuke plant. And it isn't over yet. Save your judgment until all is said and done. Remember TMI? I do. Scared the crap out of me as a kid. According to the media we were all going to suffer some horrible fate due to a meltdown. China Syndrome and all that. What became of it? A lot of lessons learned but no death and destruction. TMI is still up and running. Besides some of the power you are using to make your posts comes from nukes. So either get of the grid or quit complaining. As long as you are as using electricity you are a hypocrite.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 04/07/11 - 05:53 pm
0
0
People don't hold judgment in

People don't hold judgment in crime cases nor accidents either. Nobody denies there has been some fuel meltdown in Fukushima's reactor vessels but it's unclear whether the pressure vessel has been breeched or not. If they're breeched, then Japan has some China syndrome on their hands.

As for Three Mile Island, the cause was gross operator error and just a shift change and slop luck prevented it from being a much worse accident.

And some of the power I'm using does come from nukes but it need not. Nukes are a monopoly racket and they perpetuate the strangle hold big monopoly has on its customers. A distributed generating system with multiple small business producers would be more reliable and probably cheaper too. A distributed generating system would generate jobs for Georgians while a Godzilla nuke creates no significant number of jobs. It just profits money investors around the country.

jackragg
0
Points
jackragg 04/07/11 - 06:08 pm
0
0
In other words you are like

In other words you are like most people. Willing to stick to their beliefs until it inconveniences them
Like I said. Turn off the electricity or be quiet.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 04/07/11 - 07:58 pm
0
0
Unfortunately I'm trapped in

Unfortunately I'm trapped in the monopoly's territory and I'm denied the privilege to choose my electric service provider. I can choose my trash hauler, my telephone provider, my internet service provider and my natural gas provider but I'm denied a choice for my electric service provider. Albeit the electric distribution lines throughout the state are publicly owned as well as the phone lines and the gas distribution lines too. If I could choose I'd certainly vote with my feet! And I suppose many other people would do the same to escape the shake down for a new nuclear plant.

KSL
134766
Points
KSL 04/07/11 - 08:08 pm
0
0
gasp, given choice, what are

gasp, given choice, what are the choices you would have to choose from? Just curious, since you are bellyaching. You know not every utility out there has the ability to go into a given area. So who are your choices? Explain why you would choose the one you would choose.

KSL
134766
Points
KSL 04/07/11 - 08:09 pm
0
0
I bet you can't choose your

I bet you can't choose your water company.

KSL
134766
Points
KSL 04/07/11 - 08:10 pm
0
0
Or your police protection.

Or your police protection.

jackragg
0
Points
jackragg 04/07/11 - 08:42 pm
0
0
You do have an option. One

You do have an option. One nobody who complains about nukes, oil, coal ever seems to be willing to take. Get rid of all of your possesions and go live off the land. Anything less and you are contributing to the very problems you complain about. All of the above are nothing more than services produced by businesses driven by their customer's desires. Cut out the demand and there is no supply. Economics 101 my friend.

KSL
134766
Points
KSL 04/07/11 - 08:59 pm
0
0
Should be a required course

Should be a required course for graduation from high school, jackragg, but then it would miss a lot of those numerous drop outs.

KSL
134766
Points
KSL 04/07/11 - 09:01 pm
0
0
Make it a required course

Make it a required course before you receive any type of public assistance. I think that would cover it.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 04/07/11 - 09:11 pm
0
0
KSL - Where on earth have you

KSL - Where on earth have you been? We've so missed you!

And jackragg - a monopoly is like the old communist businesses. There's nothing competitive, improved nor customer driven about them. Good, bad or whatever, it pays the same. In fact, they earn a higher profit when they goof and do it over. They get cost plus a percentage profit. I'm reminded of the shipyard stories the old folks tell about the war days. The day shift bolted and welded it in and the night shift cut it out. They earned good money going in circles.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 04/07/11 - 09:31 pm
0
0
I've read where electrical

I've read where electrical power can be practically transmitted for up to 500 miles. So in a deregulated electric market, the consumer could theoretically buy his electric power for providers within a 500 mile radius. Sound reasonable?

My choice? I'd prefer to buy electric power produced from genuwine corn squeezins instead of nuclear dirt. It's more earth friendly.

mickl
0
Points
mickl 04/07/11 - 09:36 pm
0
0
augsaltwater, ‘Did you see

augsaltwater, ‘Did you see how many people didn't make it because they were trapped in their cars when the tsunami hit?! They should be mandated to recall every single model of vehicle in which someone couldn't survive in during the tsunami, that is unacceptable, not safe and a ticking time bomb in this country.’
Well said, but remember you talking with a bunch of libs.

jackragg
0
Points
jackragg 04/07/11 - 10:07 pm
0
0
Gasp you don't seem to

Gasp you don't seem to understand that it has everything to do with demand when it comes to energy so I'll give you an example. Several years ago I started seeing more and more cogen type power units being built. I'm in QA/QC by the way. There are actually some at Uhrquart in Beech Island. When I inquired if the new units were more effecient the answer was not at all. They were just quicker to build. Power companies were having to utilize these in order to keep up with demand. And as far as companies gouging people maybe they are. But with our insatiable appetite for energy it matters little. We all complain about the bills but we keep turning on the lights don't we?

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