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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Local: The Battle Rages On: From the Frontlines of Progress Energy’s Push for Two New Nuke Plants in Florida

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/evergladesearthfirst/
The Battle Rages On: From the Frontlines of Progress Energy’s Push for Two New Nuke Plants in Florida by Tony Muga

Progress Energy, like a giant stone juggernaut, is trying to steamroll over Florida residents by building two new nuclear power plants in Levy County despite the recent Fukushima disaster, warnings from environmentalists that the strain on the aquifer and the environment will be too great, and local residents who are ‘ just saying no’.

Previously, at a January 12th hearing at the Plantation Inn in Crystal River, citizens voiced an overwhelming disdain for the construction of two nuclear plants, and they were not alone; the Ecology Party of Florida and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) voiced similar concerns.

At this same hearing, local elected officials voted unanimously in favor of the construction of two new nuclear plants.

The fight to bring Progress Energy to a halt hangs in the balance of the only argument that the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) is willing to hear: that the water needed to cool unit 1 and unit 2 will cause an undue strain on the Florida aquifer and the environment.

What leaves many Floridians scratching their heads is the fact that after the Three Mile Island meltdown,the Simi Valley meltdown, the Chernobyl  meltdown, the ongoing Fukushima meltdown,  the ‘effluents’ (radioactive discharge) that ALL plants are allowed, the countless tritium leaks at plants across the nation, anyone would even consider building another nuclear plant ever again.

Consider also that Florida is the ‘sunshine state’ and yet over 6,000 ‘new energy’ patents are being suppressed-no solar cells greater than 20% efficiency or power systems greater than 70% efficiency are being allowed: is this why they can continue to promote nuclear power as if no other alternative exists?

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Remember, control of energy is the goal of this monopoly of monopolies, and nuclear power is a means of generating electricity that the common man cannot replicate, unlike the solar cell.

Also, plenty of weapons grade radioactive material is produced in these plants-another reason the establishment is pushing so hard for nuclear energy.

A tip-of-the-hat to the Ecology Party of Florida (see information below to make a tax-free donation) and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) who are leading the fight to bring this nuclear madness to an end.

According to the Ecology Party of Florida the two new plants will:
“…cause substantial and irreversible harm to the local environment including wetlands, surface water, and the critical Floridian aquifer that provides drinking water for everyone living in this part of Florida. Our hydroecological contention admitted by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board is the broadest environmental contention ever admitted…”
The contention consists of a 5 point argument, explained by the Ecology Party of Florida:

“Primarily, our contention addresses the impact of using 1.58 MILLION gallons per day from the aquifer (or up to 5.8 MILLION for short periods), as well as drawing so much water from the Cross Florida Barge Canal (CFBC) , that it will become as salty as the ocean.”

The arguments:

1)      Destruction of wetlands by depleting the aquifer in the area and altering historic sheet-flow. Levy is in an area of karst, a porus geological formation that magnifies the impact of dewatering.

2)      Reducing or eliminating the natural springs in the area, including Big King and Little King springs. Many of these springs appear near the CFBC, and provide fresh water necessary for manatees who use the canal.

3)      Salt drift caused by using salt water to cool the reactor. It is impossible to remove all the salt from the cooling water, and the resulting plume of salty vapor will harm the local vegetation.

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4)      Changing the salinity of the estuary surrounding the CFBC at the Gulf of Mexico. By drawing 80 million gallons per day from the CFBC, Progress will draw seawater 9 miles inland all the way up to the reactor site. This would obviously stop all the fresh water that now goes to the Gulf, and would cause permanent harm to the brackish habitat.

5)      Ignoring the effect of climate change, which according to NRC documents, will result in drier conditions for Levy County, making the effects of dewatering even more harmful.

Considering the 10 year drought we have been experiencing in Florida, in large part due to an ongoing campaign of aerosol engineering by the U.S. Air Force, I am unable to fathom why the construction of two new nuclear plants is even being considered.

I’ve written about how nuclear power is financially unprofitable, how it is inherently dangerous, how authorities cover up nuclear disasters of any kind, and how we-the-people end up with the short end of a cancerous stick anytime this kind of power system is employed.

Why won’t Uncle Sam allow us to create and utilize solar cells with greater than 20% efficiency?
Why are we forced to use nuclear power, a scheme that Einstein once referred to as a ‘hell of a way to boil water’? Why does government turn a blind eye to the dangers of nuclear power, even in the face of the Fukushima disaster?

And let’s not forget the Crystal River nuclear plant, just miles away from the new Progress Energy construction site, is in shut-down mode now: my understanding is they have been and still are unable to repair a crack in the containment vessel.
Does all this sound like progress to you? 

(Author’s note: please give thought to donating not only to the Intel Hub, for bringing you up to date information on critical issues you won’t hear about anywhere else, but also to the Ecology Party of Florida to help enable them to continue fighting the good fight and going head-to-head with Progress Energy and the Levy county construction.
The final hearing will be held in October or November of 2012.)

From the Ecology Party of Florida: “Please consider a donation to aid us in this fight. For a tax deductible donation, please make checks out to NIRS, mark in the memo as ‘Levy Intervention’ and mail to: Ecology Party of Florida, 641 SW 6th Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33315)

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