What could possibly go wrong?
– NRC Approves First New Reactors in U.S. Since 1978 (EX-SKF, Feb. 9, 2012):
Two new reactors by Westinghouse (Toshiba) are to be added to the Vogtle Nuclear Plant’s existing two reactors in Waynesboro, Georgia, population of about 5,800.
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Nuclear Safety, welcomed the approval, and added, “Nuclear energy has helped curb our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and has helped reduce harmful air pollution that damages health and causes climate change.”
Dirty fossil fuels? Senator, just take a look at those bags being piled up in Okuma-machi in 130 microsieverts/hour radiation, thanks to your “clean” nuclear energy gone bust.
From LA Times (2/9/2012):
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Thursday approved construction of the first new nuclear reactors to be built in the United States since 1978. The commission’s board approved the decision by a 4-1 vote, with its chairman Gregory B. Jaczko casting the dissenting vote.
The new reactors will be added to the Vogtle plant outside of Waynesboro, Ga., and operated by Southern Co. The reactors will use light water technology developed by Westinghouse. The new reactors could be in full operation by 2016, according to Southern. The reactors will together generate 2,200 MW, enough to power almost 1.8 million homes.
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Nuclear Safety, welcomed the approval.
“These new reactors will employ cutting-edge technology that requires fewer components than our current nuclear fleet, thereby increasing safety by providing fewer opportunities for things to go wrong during an emergency,” he said in a public statement.
He added: “Nuclear energy has helped curb our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and has helped reduce harmful air pollution that damages health and causes climate change.”
The plan to expand the plant has faced opposition from Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and environmental groups including Friends of the Earth, which questioned the safety of the reactor design in the wake of the damage caused to nuclear power plants in Fukushima, Japan, by an earthquake last year.
“Today, the NRC abdicated its duty to protect public health and safety just to make construction faster and cheaper for the nuclear industry,” Markey said in a statement.
The Department of Energy is expected to provide $8.3 billion in conditional loan guarantees for the construction of the reactors.
The last reactor granted approval by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission came shortly before the Three Mile Island nuclear incident in 1979.
It will be Westinghouse’s AP1000 pressure-water reactors, untested in the real world anywhere. The local community of Waynesboro, Georgia is very excited about the new construction, because it creates jobs for the community and double the tax revenue. (It’s the same anywhere in the world, how these things are sold.)
Here’s a USA Today article from March 18, 2011, after Reactors 1, 3, 4, 2 had explosive events at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. The comment from the mayor of Waynesboro can be from any mayors around any nuclear power plant in Japan – in the plant operator we trust, the giver of shining new town halls, schools, recreation centers:
A nuclear plant disaster in Japan has done little to change the thinking about nuclear energy in Waynesboro, Ga., where the USA’s first nuclear power plant construction in decades is planned.
Mayor George DeLoach, 70, says people in Waynesboro trust Southern Co., which is expanding its Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant from two nuclear reactors to four.
“We have a lot of confidence in the Southern Co.,” says DeLoach, who is in his 16th year as mayor. “The plant is over 20 years old. It’s been operating since the late ’80s and we haven’t had a serious accident or complaint out there. They do a great job.”
Plant Vogtle is a source of considerable largesse in Waynesboro, which bills itself as the Bird Dog Capital of the World for the Georgia Field Trials held there since 1901. Vogtle is the county’s largest employer and generates about $25 million annually in utilities taxes — 70% of the local tax base. That is expected to double to between $50 million and $60 million with the new reactors, which will generate 3,000 construction jobs and 800 to 900 new permanent positions, the mayor says.
“We have five new schools, a new hospital, a new library and one of the best rural emergency management systems in the state,” he says. “The nuclear plant in Japan was built in 1971. That’s 40 years. We’ve had a lot of new technology that’s come out since that plant was built in Japan.”
The last bit sounds just like Japanese. Oh we have new technology now, we’re not Japan.
That’s what the Japanese have said all along. We have new technology now, we’re not America (referring to TMI), we’re not Russia (Chernobyl). In fact, they still say that regarding the state-of-the-art decontamination technologies of bags and screw drivers.
I’m sure Chinese and Indians are saying it too. We have new technology now, we’re not Japan, the US, or Russia.
And so it goes.