10/15/13 ATLANTA: Nuclear Watch South conducted its first-ever intervention before the Georgia Public Service Commission in opposition to the two-reactor expansion of Plant Vogtle. The cost of the reactors has rapidly risen from $14.3 billion to more than $16 billion as the schedule has slipped by 18 months, possibly more. An economist working with Nuclear Watch South found that the Vogtle expansion is not needed, the cost of Vogtle is too high, and it would be beneficial to Georgians to absorb the sunk costs and cancel the project.
Nuclear Watch South presented expert testimony by Steven C. Prenovitz in the 8th Vogtle Construction Monitoring Review (VCMR). This is the first time an intervening citizens’ group presented an expert witness in four years of semi-annual Vogtle expansion construction reviews which are typically dominated by witnesses from Georgia Power and the PSC’s Public Advocacy Staff (PIA).
©2013 Tom Ferguson
CWIP stands for Construction Work in Progress and is a statewide corporate nuclear tax that all Georgia residential and small business electricity customers are currently paying on their utility bill.
Georgia lawmakers passed the controversial CWIP measure, also known as "Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act" in 2009 which made it legal for Georgia Power and Georgia electric companies to force customers to pay upfront for nuclear reactor construction. This is a form of corporate socialism in that the public pays for the project and the corporation reaps the profits. When, and if, the reactors are completed, the companies will charge customers again to use the product for which they already paid.
11/7/13 ATLANTA: CNN decided to air controversial pro-nuclear film "Pandora's Promise" and found itself at the center of national controversy. A petition with 30,000 signatures got CNN's attention which then scheduled some debates with Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune and Beyond Nuclear Campaigner Kevin Kamps. "Atomic States of America" was aired for free all week on vimeo. And here in Atlanta, Nuclear Watch South figured we should get ourselves downtown to CNN Headquarters for some good old-fashioned street heat! We were well received by the tourists, businessmen and concert goers. Betsy Rivard eluded security for this one photo before we were chased away from the CNN sign!
CNN generated a lot of discussion this week, maybe in the long run it will do some good. Peter Bradford, former Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner, gets our vote for the best quote: "The problem with using nuclear as an answer to climate change is it's so much more expensive than other potential answers," Bradford said. "It's like building palaces to solve a housing shortage, or using caviar to solve world hunger."
BE PART OF THE SOLUTION! Help lead the way from dirty coal and unsafe nuclear to a future powered by harvesting the sun and wind. Start by KNOWING ABOUT IT! Here are some good resources to help us figure out how to create a clean energy future for our planet:
MANY THANKS to all who came and shared the spectacular summer evening in support of Nuclear Watch South.
The afternoon kicked off with a set of righteous protest songs from MY HOMEWORK ATE MY DOG, followed by thought-provoking turns with THINKSPEAK and WING. SMOKEY'S FARMLAND BAND lived up to reputation, delivering a smoking set and getting the crowd onto its feet. As the sun sailed towards the horizon the dancing began in earnest with the inspirational rock of AVIVA & THE FLYING PENGUINS. SUSANNAH MASARIE took it to a new level with her band and a good time was had by all when our good friends EX-P.A.N.D. BAND took the stage.
Here's to the dozens of musicians and hard-working volunteers who made it a big success ~ to the LAKE CLAIRE COMMUNITY LAND TRUST for being a gorgeous and generous host ~ to STEVE SWENY for contributing the cool poster ~ and to the RAGING BURRITO and EUCLID AVENUE YACHT CLUB for sponsoring.
Atlanta, GA, 7/2/13: Nuclear Watch South filed its proposed legal "findings" with the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission NRC) July 1, 2013. NUCLEAR WATCH SOUTH is joined in the legal intervention by Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) and Nuclear Information Resource Service (NIRS) and supported by expert witness Dr. Edwin S. Lyman in challenging inadequate plans for plutonium control and accounting at the controversial MOX plutonium fuel factory under construction at Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina. The groups filed their proposed findings following an unusual second round of closed hearings at NRC headquarters in May. With the various parties having filed proposed findings, the ASLB will follow by issuing an order ruling its finding of fact, which according to the groups should be to deny the MOX license.
Atlanta, GA 8/28/12: Stop Plant Vogtle campaign was featured in Occupy Atlanta's Tuesday educational march. Hurricane Isaac stopped dumping rain just in time for an evening tour of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Georgia Power while handing out fliers to funseekers in downtown Atlanta's tourist district. Of course NUCLEAR WATCH SOUTH was there with hazmat suits and stickers!
SAVANNAH 10/13/12: Bonnie Raitt put her award-winning SLIPSTREAM tour in support of work to stop U.S. nuclear expansion. In Savannah, Georgia her show benefited NUCLEAR WATCH SOUTH, Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, and South Carolina Sierra Club. NUCLEAR WATCH SOUTH came out in force and launched the Stop CWIP Campaign. We are eternally grateful to Bonnie for a lifetime of commitment to making the world a better place through music and personal activism. Guacamole Fund and Musicians United for Safe Energy produced the green tour. LONG MAY YOU ROCK!!!
APRIL 13, 2012: This week on IF YOU LOVE THIS PLANET
Dr. Helen Caldicott interviews long-time antinuclear activist Glenn Carroll, coordinator of Nuclear Watch South, headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Carroll has been committed to grass roots direct action for 25 years, ever since the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown in Russia inspired her to join efforts to stop Vogtle 1 and 2, a nuclear power plant in Waynesboro, Georgia. In this conversation with Dr. Caldicott, Carroll explains the danger posed by the Vogtle 3 and 4 reactors approved for construction at the Vogtle facility, and how utility company Georgia Power and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are overriding concerns about the environment and human health in order to built the first new nuclear power plants in the U.S. in several decades.
ATLANTA 5/25/12: Everybody except for Georgia is jumping on the wind and solar bandwagon, but Georgia Power is side-lined in a nuclear jam like a horse-buggy manufacturer at the dawning of the Ford assembly line.
Solar and wind are setting records in output and lower costs. Technological breakthroughs in collection and storage of wind and solar have been developed and deployed at such a rapid clip that renewable energy sources are now contributing more electricity to the grid, at lower cost, than nuclear. The historic shift has analysts now harking the coming day when wind and solar will undercut King Coal as well.
On March 11, 2011 the world's eyes were on Japan as the devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the worst in history.
On March 11, 2012, the world's eyes are also on Georgia where Georgia Power has received a license to build the first two nuclear reactors in the U.S. in 38 years. These reactors would be built at Plant Vogtle in Burke County 40 miles south of Augusta on the Savannah River.
100 people gathered at the Fairfield Missionary Baptist Church in beautiful Burke County to remember the victims of Fukushima and gather strength to stop two new reactors from being added to the two which are already there.
Shoji Kihara from Hiroshima turned down the opportunity to address 10,000 people in Japan in order to be present with us in Georgia. He said that the fate of Vogtle will be powerful influence on the fate of nuclear power.
2/17/12: ATLANTA, GA The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) voted 4-1 on February 9, 2012, to issue the final license for two new reactors at the site of the currently operating Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia. NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko cast the only dissenting vote, effectively agreeing with nine national, state and regional groups who will file a challenge in federal court.
A major legal challenge has been filed charging the NRC with violating federal law to issue the license without considering the important lessons of the catastrophic Fukushima accident in Japan and regarding the ways the Vogtle operation should be modified to protect public safety and the environment. The groups are asking federal judges to order the NRC to prepare a new environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Vogtle reactors that explains how cooling systems for the reactors and spent fuel storage pools will be upgraded to protect against earthquakes, flooding and prolonged loss of electric power to the site. The EIS must also detail how emergency equipment and plans for the nuclear plant will be revised to account for accidents affecting multiple reactors on the Vogtle site, as happened at Fukushima.
In-depth look at MOX plutonium fuel boondoggle from Center for Public Integrity
by Douglas Birch and
R. Jeffrey Smith
Breakthrough study by IEER proves we can get off coal, oil and nuclear by 2040
Worldwatch Institute report finds renewables output surpasses nuclear in 2010
World Nuclear Industry
Status Report 2010–2011