Thursday, April 21, 2005

Clinton ESP News Update

First, the joint press conference hosted by several anti-nuclear groups in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois on Tuesday, April 19: Brendan Hoffman of Public Citizen took the microphone. His point was that instead of a new nuclear power plant, Illinois should focus on renewables, since the Union of Concerned Scientists have produced a study showing how much economic benefit Illinois can get from a renewable energy standard. He also gave a list of six complaints of things that are missing from the NRC's draft Environmental Impact Statement, including, for example, the need for additional power, suitability of the site for long term storage of used nuclear fuel, security issues and health impacts of a nuclear power station.

I don't see how pursuing renewable energy sources and new nuclear power for baseload energy generation are mutually exclusive. Why not do both, and expand the environmental benefits?

As for what is missing from the NRC's DEIS, it does not seem reasonable to postulate that more power would NOT be needed within the next 20 years for which the site is banked. Public Citizen's other concerns would be more closely related to either the design certification or the construction and operating license, and do not belong in the study of site suitabilty. That's the whole intent of breaking the new licensing process into smaller chunks - deal with the information to be evaluated one piece at a time. If you stay on topic, at each point in the process, concerns expressed on both sides of an argument can generate a dialogue based on fact rather than rhetoric. Discussion of the whether the 6 concerns are applicable points to be made does not even belong in this step of the process.

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1 comment:

Norris McDonald said...

The pro nuclear activists outnumbered the anti nuclear activitists. Members from the North American Young Generation in Nuclear and the African American Environmentalist Association ruled the hearing on the outside and the inside.

The local community also had a very strong showing. More than 200 people turned out on a Monday night and stayed until midnight to make sure that their comments were heard by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.