Monday, March 12, 2012

WAND No Vogtle

WAYNESBORO, GA -  People across the Southeast gathered in Shell Bluff on March 11, the Fukushima disaster anniversary, to stand in solidarity with the community. They came from Augusta, Atlanta and Asheville, N.C., and joined an event that featured speaker Shoji Kihara, a well-known author and anti-nuclear activist from Hiroshima, Japan, a panel of speakers from Shell Bluff, music, poetry and a remembrance vigil.

Georgia environmental groups have several lawsuits against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for safety violations. Activists have launched a pledge drive to encourage ratepayers not to pay the nuclear construction cost recovery fee on their Georgia Power bills, as well as a “Stop Vogtle” outreach and education campaign.

According to one of the speakers 75% of every bill collected by Georgia Power goes to the shareholders and the rest for the construction. The two new reactors to be built are being subsidized by small and medium customers of Georgia Power thanks to SB 31, a gift from the General Assembly since 2010.

+ One of the major safety lessons learned at Fukushima was what scientists call the cascade effect — if one nuclear reactor begins to melt down, it will have an adverse and similar effect on the reactor next to it. Currently, U.S. safety standards for existing and proposed reactors are only designed for single reactors at a site, even though most U.S. nuclear power plants house multiple reactors.

This is likely one reason NRC chair Gregory Jaczko voted against the construction and operating license at Vogtle. “I cannot support issuing this license as if Fukushima never happened,” Jaczko said. His was the one dissenting vote in the 4-1 decision. (, Feb. 9)

Jobs, health and who pays?

Plant Vogtle is housed in the community of Shell Bluff, in Burke County, a poor, rural, majority African-American area about 20 miles southeast of Augusta, Ga. In the first decade of the 21st century, the county’s poverty and unemployment rates were double that of the national average.

The promise of new construction jobs at the plant draws some community support, but just like the first round of construction, these jobs will be temporary. Area newspapers also report that many of the workers will come from out of state and will be nonunion.

For some Shell Bluff residents, these jobs are not worth the trade-offs.

+ Courtney Hanson is Public Outreach Director at Georgia Women's Action for New Directions (WAND)

March 29, 2012 - Now that the US Supreme Court finished hearing the Affordable Care Act is time to hear the Repeal SB 31 Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act. By the way, Obamacare is very needed in Plant Vogtle and near the plant. Ask the people getting sick and suddenly dead. Republican Representative Paul Broun (D-10), a physician, is "amicus of the Court" against Obamacare but considered an enemy of his constituents by supporting SB 31. 

Justice Scalia don't have to worry, SB 31 is very short to read but very profitable for Georgia Power and its shareholders.

During the legal debates over Obamacare before the Supreme Court, Justice Antonin Scalia (who seems to be of the opinion that the entire law should be tossed out) joked that being asked to read the 2,700 page bill would violate the Constitution’s 8th amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

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