A boon for Vogtle

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The federal Atomic Safety and Licensing Board is holding sessions today and Monday in Augusta to hear any environmental concerns over the proposed construction of two additional nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro.


And after these concerns are fairly heard, we hope the board will rightly decide that the new reactors will not harm our area, but help it. If there's any time this country needs more nuclear plants, it's now.


Filled up your car lately? Perhaps you have, after taking out a small bank loan. Fossil-fuel prices are soaring and becoming increasingly unstable. Given today's environment, it's a no-brainer to pursue several alternative power sources that don't further pollute the atmosphere, and aren't prone to sudden price fluctuations in a free market.


Hence, nuclear power. And building new reactors in Burke County would be a positive boon.


The mere construction of two 1,100-megawatt units will create thousands of temporary construction jobs. When completed and operational - the target date would be in mid-2016 - the plant's full-time employment would be doubled to 1,800 workers.


Remember, this is a power plant that already accounts for about 80 percent of Burke County's tax digest. Imagine all the positive economic offshoots that would result from the new reactors.


More workers would need to buy houses to live in, and they would patronize local stores. And you know they would visit Augusta occasionally on consumer errands, so our community would benefit as well.


And compared to competing power sources, the operating cost of nuclear power is dirt cheap. Nuclear costs less than 2 cents a kilowatt-hour, compared to nearly 10 cents at a plant that burns oil and sends greenhouse gases sky-high.


Because of that pollution factor, if anyone should be pushing for more nuclear plants, it's environmentalists. Nuclear plants don't deplete the ozone layer, they don't cause acid rain and they don't contribute to smog.


Ah, but the anti-nuclear crowd loves to trot out the twin Ghosts of Nuclear Accidents Past - Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986. Of course, they can't point out any other examples of those kinds of large-scale nuclear meltdowns at civilian plants - because there haven't been any.


Nuclear opponents also try to frighten people with the spectre of prolonged radiation exposure if you live near a nuclear plant. Problem is, they provide a fear factor without providing the context that shows that fear is unfounded.


Radiation is measured in millirems. Living near a nuclear plant such as Vogtle would expose you, at most, to 5 millirems of radiation a year. By comparison, we get 370 millirems of ordinary background radiation a year merely being out and about in our daily lives. To truly suffer harmful effects, you would have to be exposed to at least 10,000 millirems annually. And you'd have to receive, say, three chest x-rays a day for an entire year to approach that level.


These scare tactics shouldn't be deterrents to building more nuclear plants. We need more electricity. The demand is not magically going to go down. And one of our commonsense energy solutions is staring us right in the face.


Constructing new reactors at Vogtle is a prime example of a win-win situation for everyone. Consumers get more cheaply produced electricity, and our area experiences an economic windfall. It makes complete sense, and any move to make all that happen should be approved and expedited.

IF YOU GO

The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will hear concerns over the environmental impact of the proposed expansion of Plant Vogtle in Burke County. The hearings will be at the Doubletree Hotel and Convention Center, 2651 Perimeter Parkway, Augusta, on Sunday, April 27, from 4 to 6 p.m., and Monday, April 28, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Comments (12) Add comment
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Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 04/27/08 - 06:46 am
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Let us pray that the nuclear

Let us pray that the nuclear plant constructors can obtain the reactors and recruit the skilled labor necessary to bring this ambitious project to fruition.

oh man
0
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oh man 04/27/08 - 10:05 am
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The area needs this

The area needs this responsible source of power. Thank you Vogtle for pushing forward on this project.

UncleBill
6
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UncleBill 04/27/08 - 10:14 am
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Nuclear is a good, clean

Nuclear is a good, clean source of energy. There might be an issue, however, with drawing water from the river. Hopefully that will be addressed in a way that the plant can be built.

WW1949
19
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WW1949 04/27/08 - 11:00 am
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Go for it. I have always said

Go for it. I have always said build more so that maybe the cost of electricity would go down.

fredinaiken
0
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fredinaiken 04/27/08 - 12:52 pm
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Terrible that we must wait

Terrible that we must wait for 2016 for this massive new source of clean, low-cost energy, when we need energy so badly for our homes, industries and transportation. We (duPont) built the SRP reactors in about a year. As for safety, there have been NO deaths or injuries in the USA from the nuclear aspects of civilian nuclear power. At Three Mile Island careless people burned the reactor core in the worst possible way, but nothing got out of the containment shell and no one was hurt. At Chernobyl the dumb communists had no containment; thus the mess and deaths and injuries from radiation. WE HAVE AND WILL HAVE NO UNCONTAINED REACTORS IN THE CIVILIZED WORLD.

jack
10
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jack 04/27/08 - 02:28 pm
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Go Vogtle!

Go Vogtle!

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
7413
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 04/27/08 - 02:29 pm
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UncleBill there is more water

UncleBill there is more water wasted in Augusta each day than the current reactors and proposed reactors will draw from the river in the same period! It's not an issue, except for the undereducated on this point!

Ole School
0
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Ole School 04/27/08 - 04:26 pm
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I love the Idea of the

I love the Idea of the additional reactors and I love fishing in the River too ! don`t hurt my fishing hole but build the reactors I know we can do both !

UncleBill
6
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UncleBill 04/28/08 - 12:21 am
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Cold Beer, I am in favor of

Cold Beer, I am in favor of building the reactors. Whether or not it has an impact on the river should be in the realms of a mathematical computation. I just want to know the answer. You know the release of water from Clark Hill has been a big issue because of the maintenance of the pool for recreational purposes verses generation of electricity. Hopefully, a plan can be made that will allow the building of the new reactors, and maintenance of a healthy river down stream.

Nona
0
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Nona 04/28/08 - 06:03 am
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This is full of fiction. The

This is full of fiction. The 2 cents a kilowatt ignores the capitol cost. Instead of reducing our electric rates, watch them rapidly rise,

As for the "Fill up your car lately" quote, nuclear plants produce electricity, and will have no effect on gas prices.

I resent half truths and deliberate lies. From the looks of your 9 comments so far, you have achieved your objective of fooling the people.

Want true energy independence? Try installing a photovoltaic system on your roof, then put a plug in hybrid in your garage that you fuel with your free electricity from the sun. Sell your excess electricity back to the power company.

The jobs that renewable energy can bring to our area will be permanent. You are in for another boom bust period with nuclear construction.

Where are the monitors? Ask a mother if her child's leukemia was worth the benefits of building a new nuclear power plant.

As for water usage, these two reactors will use up to 90 million gallons of water per day, total, from groundwater & the river, and discharges will be up to 50 degrees hotter than when it was removed from the river, according to NRC's Enviornomantal Impact Statement.

Da Voice Inside Your Head
7
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Da Voice Inside Your Head 04/28/08 - 06:40 am
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More people died at

More people died at Chapaquidic than at Three Mile Island,

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
7413
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 04/28/08 - 06:40 am
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Nona, have you done any of

Nona, have you done any of your suggestions?

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