News from Beyond Nuclear
Beyond Nuclear denounces President Obama’s decision to transfer financial and safety risks of new reactors to U.S. taxpayers
By Kevin Kamps
TAKOMA PARK, MD – Beyond Nuclear today denounced President Obama’s granting of a conditional loan guarantee to Southern Nuclear Operating Company for the construction of new atomic reactors at its Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant site in Waynesboro, Georgia. Two new Westinghouse-Toshiba Advanced Passive (AP) 1000 reactors are proposed at Plant Vogtle. President Obama’s award comes despite an announcement by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in October of a major safety flaw with the AP1000 design.
An NRC media release dated October 15, 2009 documents that the AP1000 shield building, as currently designed, is vulnerable to severe weather such as tornadoes and hurricanes, and natural disasters like earthquakes. This raises the concern that the design is also vulnerable to terrorist attacks such as intentionally crashing airliners. Thus, the shield building’s intended protection of the reactor’s primary radioactivity containment is questionable, as is its ability to provide radiation shielding during normal operations as well as to support a large emergency cooling water supply tank.
“It is utterly irresponsible of President Obama to risk public safety and the environment by financing the incomplete and flawed AP1000 design at Vogtle and, worse still, at taxpayers’ financial risk,” said Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear. “Even if ultimately fixed, the AP1000’s major design flaw risks delays in construction and cost overruns, the same problems that delivered death blows to scores of atomic reactors three decades ago.”
The Congressional Budget Office has predicted that over half of new reactor owners will default on their loan repayments. The federal nuclear loan guarantees would finance up to 80% of the total project cost for a new reactor. Cost estimates for certain proposed new reactors in the U.S. have already surpassed $10 billion. The two new reactors at Vogtle are currently estimated by proponents to cost $14.5 billion, a figure expected by critics to significantly increase.
“Making federal atomic reactor loan guarantees conditional upon a Nuclear Regulatory Commission license won't protect U.S. taxpayers,” Kamps said. “The nuclear industry has a long history of defaulting on loans in the post-licensing period due to design flaws, construction mistakes, cost overruns, lengthy delays, and other problems that President Obama and Energy Secretary Chu cannot foresee, stumbling blocks which are not eliminated by NRC granting a construction and operating license,” Kamps added.
Note from Censored News: Black community targeted with contamination and war industry profiteering:
Waynesboror, Ga., is 63 percent black, with 70 percent of elementary students are black. No surprise to see Shaw, the nuclear industry with its risk of contamination and death, Obama's friends at General Dynamics and the intelligence community are the main employers:
Companies hiring in Waynesboro are: