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Green Party blasts Obama on approval of new nuclear reactors in Georgia

No NukesUS taxpayers to subsidize the high cost and high liability for the new units, while Southern Co. reaps the profits

Green Party candidates and leaders strongly criticized a Feb. 9 decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to issue the final license for two new reactors located at the currently operating Vogtle nuclear power plant near Augusta, Georgia.

Greens said that the 2011 Fukushima disaster, with radioactive water and waste continuing to spill into the local environment, proves the need to put nuclear power on permanent hold. Green Party leaders noted that residents near Plant Vogtle claim that some cancers increased after 1987, when the Atlanta-based Southern Company opened the first of the two existing reactors.

“The energy companies know that nuclear energy is extremely expensive and a high risk for security, public health, and the environment. They saw what happened in Fukushima, as well as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Rather than gamble with their own money, energy companies have convinced President Obama to pass the cost and liability on to US taxpayers,” said Denice Traina, Coordinating Council member and former co-chair of the Georgia Green Party (http://www.greens.org/georgia). 

The new units will cost more than $14 billion. The Obama Administration has pledged $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees for the construction. Southern Co. has not yet invested any of its own money for the units, while Georgia ratepayers are being asked to pre-fund construction payments in their current bills. US taxpayers currently subsidize insurance coverage for the private firms that own and operate all US nuclear plants.

Georgia has suffered multiple threats and radioactive releases from the Southern Co. and Dept. of Energy nuclear complex.  DOE operates its Savannah River site bomb-making facility across the river from Shell Bluff, which hosts Plant Vogtle’s two reactors and is now targeted for two more reactors, despite the cancer cluster that health officials have failed to study.

Tritium has been found in cows’ milk in Girard, Georgia. A tritium spill at the bomb plant led the Dixie Crystal sugar refinery to idle its Savannah workforce while the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources closed the oyster beds at the mouth of the Savannah River, with significant adverse economic repercussions. Vogtle faced an emergency when a truck backed into a utility pole, cutting off the cooling system, and backup generators failed to start. Meanwhile, another Georgia-based Southern Co. facility, Plant Hatch, which is now approaching the end of its license, has operated since its inception without a containment dome.

“Despite these outrages, Georgia residents subsidize nuclear industry profits with risks to our health and safety,” said Bruce Dixon, press secretary of the Georgia Green Party and managing editor for Black Agenda Report (http://www.blackagendareport.com). “The policies which fund new nuclear capacity, while forgoing needed investments in renewables, would not be possible without discounting the lives of those who live in these sacrifice zones. Having a black president offering the taxpayer guaranteed loans, with his appointees granting the license, does not diminish the racism inherent in these policies.”

NRC chair Gregory Jaczko, appointed by President Bush, cast the lone dissenting vote on the new licenses. The commissioners who voted for approval included Democrats appointed by President Obama.

“Despite assurances from President Obama and other nuclear plant defenders, there is no such thing as safe, clean, reliable nuclear energy,” said Darryl! Moch, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. “The Green Party supports a ban on new nuclear reactors and decommissioning of existing reactors, and conversion to genuine safe and clean energy sources as we find ways to reduce energy consumption.”

“We have an opportunity to create millions of jobs in developing safe energy technologies and converting to energy efficiency, by retro-fitting homes and buildings, public transportation to reduce car traffic, and numerous other projects. Unfortunately, Democratic and Republican party leaders, including President Obama, lack the political will and are addicted to political contributions from corporate PACs representing the energy industry,” said Mr. Moch.

Conversion from fossil fuel and nuclear energy and public works projects to create new Green jobs are part of the Green New Deal promoted by Green candidates.

See also:

 

Nuclear Watch South http://www.nonukesyall.org

“No More Solyndras: Groups Call On DOE to Force Public Release on Delays and 12 Secret Cost Overruns at Vogtle Reactors” North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, February 16, 2012 http://www.ncwarn.org/2012/02/nc-warn-allies-sue-nrc-over-new-reactors/

“An Anti-Nuclear Renaissance? Since the US government has not given up on approving new reactors, we must not give up opposing them” By Karl Grossman, Common Dreams, Feb. 13, 2012 http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/02/13-0

“State Green Parties sponsor and host ‘No Nukes Tour: Organize the South!’, October 3 to 8 in southern states” Green Party press release, Sept. 29, 2011 http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=451

“Greens call President Obama’s resurrection of nuclear power and handout for Georgia nuclear reactors his ‘worst idea yet'” Green Party press release, Feb. 18, 2010 http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=297

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  1. […] as long as Prison Nation and Police State abuses are allowed to continue,” said Darryl! Moch, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. “The War on Drugs, privatized prisons, and […]

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