[imc-st.louis] Public Hearing on Proposed New Nuclear Reactor

info at nonewnukes.org info at nonewnukes.org
Wed Mar 30 20:09:20 PST 2005


APRIL 19th HEARING ON PROPOSED CLINTON NUCLEAR REACTOR    

On April 19th, in Clinton, IL, there will be an important opportunity
for environmentally concerned persons to take action to help protect
central Illinois and also the future of our children and our planet. All
it will take is an evening (or less) of your time. Please forward this
information to everyone in your organization, and to others you know who
would be interested.

As you probably already know, Exelon has applied to the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC) for an Early Site Permit (ESP) to build a
second nuclear power plant in Clinton, IL, 25 miles south of Bloomington
Normal. The NRC has recently released its draft Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS), which takes 650 pages to say that "the ESP should be
issued." Many of us greatly disagree that there are no significant
environmental impacts, let alone potential significant impacts, from a
nuclear reactor, and we are quite concerned that the approval process
for Clinton's proposed new reactor is moving along rapidly. The one and
only public meeting for citizens to voice their concerns about the
environmental impact of this proposed reactor will be held in Clinton on
Tuesday, April 19, starting at 7:00 p.m. Directions to the meeting are
below.

Persons from No New Nukes will be attending this hearing, speaking out,
and providing information and materials at a table prior to the hearing.
If you share our concerns about both customary and expected radioactive
emissions from the power plant, nuclear waste transport on interstate
highways and railroads throughout the country, taxpayer subsidies and
government protection of this highly polluting and unsustainable energy
source, and much more, we encourage you to attend this meeting and speak
of your concerns. If you are concerned but don't choose to register as a
speaker, we still need your presence and support at this hearing! It is
very important to have a strong showing of of opposition to THIS new
reactor. Of any proposed new nuclear reactor in the USA, Clinton is the
furthest along in the NRC approval process. If the Clinton reactor gets
approved, many many more will follow throughout the USA. If you cannot
come to Clinton on April 19th, you can still share your concerns by
email. See below.

Illinois has more nuclear reactors than any other state in the USA (11
functioning and 3 decommissioned.) We thus have extra reason to be
concerned. Residents of Champaign-Urbana have particular cause for
concern, as C-U is the nearest large community directly downwind (on the
prevailing winds) from the Clinton reactor. Nuclear power is touted as
safe, clean, cheap, and available forever. It is none of these (see
below)! We do NOT need more nuclear power, nuclear danger, and nuclear
waste. Instead, for example, wind power IS safe, clean, much cheaper,
and endlessly renewable. The largest land based wind farm in the USA is
now under development nearby, in Arrowsmith.

Instructions and a summary about nuclear power are below. If you want
further information or to coordinate plans regarding the Clinton
hearing, phone the Ecology Action Center (309-454-3169) and leave a
message for No New Nukes. One of us will get back to you. Please, come
to Clinton to voice YOUR concerns! See you there!

For additional information, please visit our website:
http://clinton.nonewnukes.org

Carolyn Treadway
Normal, Illinois

********************************

The meeting for public comment on the environmental report about the
proposed reactor will be held at the Vespasian Warner Public Library,
310 N. Quincy St., Clinton IL 61727 on Tuesday, 4/19/05. The meeting
will begin at 7:00 p.m., but come 30 to 60 minutes early if you want to
make sure to get a seat. Directions are at: www.warner.lib.il.us/where.htm.

You will be allowed to make a public comment at the meeting provided you
either register as a speaker ahead of time (YOU MUST REGISTER BY 4/13)
by calling 1-800-368-5642, ext. 3835, or by emailing them at
ClintonEIS at nrc.gov  You also may register at the Clinton library,
provided you register there at least 30 minutes prior to the start of
the 7:00 p.m. meeting. Even if you don't want to speak, it is very
important to have a good showing of citizen interest against this
proposed plant.

The NRC is accepting comments on-line about the draft environmental
impact document until May 25, 2005 by emailing: ClintonEIS at nrc.gov  Your
written statements are very important; we need as many as possible.
Refer to the EIS document #NUREG-1815 in your statement.

You can read the draft environmental impact statement (the EIS) by:

1. going to the website: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html
2. click on "Web-based access"
3. click on "Begin ADAMS Search"
4. in search box, enter: NUREG-1815
5. click on the first document that shows up, entitled: NUREG-1815 DFC,
"Environmental Impact Statement for an Early Site Permit (ESP) at the
Exelon ESP Site." "Draft Report for Comment."

This draft EIS is more than 650 pages! One way to approach it would be
to review the Table of Contents to choose an area that particularly
interests you to read carefully, and hopefully to comment on.

The Clinton meeting is your opportunity to SPEAK UP about whatever your
concerns are, regardless of what the NRC says it wants you to focus on.
Speak from your heart and your words will have power.

********************************

SHOULD WE SUPPORT A NEW REACTOR IN CLINTON? NOT IF YOU CONSIDER THE
FACTS BELOW

1. There are energy options for central Illinois that can be built more
quickly, far more safely, and for a fraction of the cost of nuclear
power! Wind power is now cheaper to produce than nuclear power. And a
wind farm can be built in two years, while a nuclear reactor takes ten
years or more to complete. There are also far more jobs created by
alternative energy options like wind power, than are created by nuclear
power. Given nuclear power's many problems, alternative energy options
seem far preferable.

2. Exelon wants to build a second reactor in Clinton to profit its
shareholders--not to meet the energy needs of citizens in Illinois.
While this region will endure the risks of hosting a second nuclear
reactor, Exelon has admitted that energy produced by this reactor will
likely be sold for profit to out-of-state consumers. While making a
profit is something Exelon has a right to do, citizens in this region
also have a right to look critically at the practices of the industry
asking to do business in this area.

3. Nuclear energy is expensive to produce--especially when the hidden
government subsidies are factored into its cost. The costs of nuclear
power are estimated to be about $0.05-0.07/kWh, making it, on average,
between 2 and 4 times more expensive than electricity generated by
burning fossil fuels. And there are additional, hidden costs to nuclear
power. Currently, our tax dollars subsidize nuclear power, paying
millions of dollars for new reactor application costs, billions of
dollars to decommission (safely dismantle) old and unsafe reactors, and
untold sums to house high-level radioactive waste for thousands of
years. In addition, our government has allowed the nuclear industry to
unrealistically limit its liability by creating the Price-Anderson Act.
Though a large, nuclear accident is expected to cause $560 billion in
damages, each reactor is required to carry insurance for only $9.1
billion of damages from an accident. The rest of the damages' cost would
have to be absorbed by U.S. citizens, through disaster relief, or
personal expenditures. We should demand that all costs of nuclear power
be examined before anyone decides to support this expensive industry.

4. Exelon's promises of tax benefits and jobs for citizens in central
Illinois should be examined carefully in light of the corporation's
business practices in other states. Exelon profited in purchasing the
first Clinton reactor because it paid only a fraction of its cost. The
State of Illinois devalued the Clinton plant just before Exelon bought
it, an act that sent the tax revenue base in DeWitt County into a
tailspin. Exelon profited from a similar devaluation of the Zion IL
plant, as well as similar circumstances in two other states: New Jersey
and Pennsylvania. Though Exelon is promising that the tax revenue that
will be provided by a new Clinton reactor would continue for sixty
years, past examples show that nuclear energy corporations are able to
secure devaluation assessments when it becomes too burdensome for
nuclear companies to pay high taxes. Exelon has also demonstrated a
willingness to cut jobs at reactors even when reactor employees at
eastern Exelon plants insist that the job cuts are affecting a plant's
ability to operate safely. We should be highly suspicious of Exelon's
promises about tax benefits and jobs.

5. There is NOWHERE to safely store the waste generated by a nuclear
reactor. Plans for a federal nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain,
Nevada are stalled due to design flaws, unsuitability of the site, and
the opposition of citizens in Nevada. All other radioactive waste
storage plans involve temporary storage options: on-site 'swimming
pools' or dry-cask storage units which can safely contain the
high-level, radioactive waste for 30 to 50 years--when the waste we are
talking about will need to be stored for as long as 240,000 years (until
it is no longer radioactively lethal.)

6. On-site, high-level, radioactive waste is cited in government reports
as a prime terrorist target. As of 2003, the reactor outside of Clinton
had filled its radioactive waste 'swimming pools' to over 60% of their
capacity. Within each 'swimming pool' are "spent" fuel rods with the
radioactive power of 1000 nuclear bombs. A successful attack on this
waste could ignite a radioactive fire that would devastate hundreds of
square miles around the nuclear reactor. Even Illinois States Attorney
Lisa Madigan, with six other States Attorneys, has signed on to a letter
calling for much stricter safety standards at existing nuclear reactors.
The nuclear companies are fighting against stricter security standards
because of the costs involved. To build a second reactor outside of
Clinton will increase the amount of high-level, radioactive waste stored
there, which in turn will increase the risk posed by that waste to the
region's citizens.

7. Though the nuclear industry claims that new nuclear reactors produce
no greenhouse gases, the claim is very misleading. The entire process
involved in nuclear energy generation does produce greenhouse
gases--about as much as that produced by natural gas energy production.
And the amount of greenhouse gases produced by the nuclear process will
drastically increase when current supplies of higher-yield uranium ore
run out, and the industry is forced to use less efficient grades. The
lower-grade uranium ore will require much more energy to mine, extract
and enrich before it is suitable for power generation. All uranium ore
supplies are expected to run out in as little as 25-30 years. Nuclear
power is not a long-term solution to our energy needs.

8. Though the nuclear industry argues to the contrary, there is no safe
level for radiation exposure. Low-level radiation exposure from the air,
water, or the food we produce from the land has been shown in scientific
studies to increase a person's chances for miscarriage, infant death,
and cancer for workers in the plant, and those who live downwind of the
reactors. Two reactors in a region double the amount of low-level
radiation exposure that persons living there are asked to endure. We
need to think very carefully before saying 'yes' to new jobs that can
put our long-term health in jeopardy.





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