Waste Control Specialists (WCS) site in Andrews County
Texas is 5 miles east of Eunice, New Mexico.
Radioactive wastes and by-product disposal in
For Immediate Release (Tuesday, June 10, 2008):
More Information Contact:
Cyrus Reed, 512-740-4086 or 512-477-1729 or Karen Hadden, SEED Coalition, 512-797-8481
Nuclear Plants Too Risky, Too Expensive, Too
tell Luminant and the NRC:
Aren’t Safer, Not Needed
(Austin) -- A coalition of environmental and consumer groups and their members are preparing to comment at a public meeting scheduled in Glen Rose, Texas on June 12 that nuclear plants are “too risky, too expensive and too late” to help Texas meet its power needs.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is holding a public meeting in response to the announcement by Luminant – the electric generating subsidiary of the company formerly known as TXU, that the company wants to double the number of units at the existing Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant in Somerville County using a new, unproven technology known as USAPWR.
“We’ve been down this road before,” noted Cyrus Reed, Conservation Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. “The utility industry sold Texas on nuclear power plants at Comanche Peak and the South Texas Project and consumers have been paying the ‘stranded’ costs ever since. Meanwhile, valuable water resources are expended and radioactive waste piles up on-site.”
Luminant will be talking and listening as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at the informational public meeting Thursday night in Glen Rose, south of Fort Worth. While Luminant has announced their intention to build and operate the nuclear units, the design has yet to be certified and no license application has been received. Also missing is any idea of the cost involved or even how much water would be needed to run such a plant.
“The rush to build new nuclear power plants is simply an attempt to take advantage of federal subsidies while they are available, and then hope to pass the building and operating costs off on the public,” noted Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of Public Citizen’s Texas office. “Analysis by both Moody’s and by independent consultants is putting a price tag of $12 to $17 billion for the proposed nuke in South Texas by NRG, and we would expect the Comanche Peak plant to cost even more due to its design and the increasing rising costs of uranium, steel and cement.”
According to Karen Hadden, executive director of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition, “The cost of solar concentrating power plants, solar panels, wind energy, and especially energy efficiency measures has come down and are now competitive and more economical than an new nuclear plant This means that investing in nuclear power with all of the risks of accidents, terrorist attacks and the impossibility of ever being able to deal with radioactive waste is foolhardy and outrageous.”
“Luminant and its private investment owners should follow their new green image and invest in renewable energy, and energy efficiency, not take on more debt to push nuclear power on the public,” Hadden stated.
With the most recent ERCOT projections reporting that Texas’ existing generating capacity will meet its reserve margin needs until at least 2013, the Sierra Club’s Reed said that it makes better sense to invest in energy efficiency, demand response and emerging renewable technologies like wind, solar, geothermal and ways to store energy.
“There are a wide range of interest groups from industrial customers, to new players in the solar and wind energy markets, to low-income advocates that believe we need to look forward toward reducing our demand and investing in new technologies like solar and energy storage, not using 20th century technology like coal-fired and uranium-fired power plants. Luminant should get on board.”
The Seed Coalition, Sierra Club and Public Citizen are sponsors of the website NukeFreeTexas.org, which has additional information on the dangers of nuclear power in Texas. The NRC will hold the public meeting at Expo of Texas Amphitheatre, 202 Bo Gibbs Boulevard, Glen Rose TX from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on this Thursday, June 12, 2008.