Monday, February 20, 2012

GP RELEASE Green Party blasts Obama, NRC on approval of new nuclear reactors in Ga.; taxpayers to subsidize high cost & liability‏


For Immediate Release:
Friday, February 17, 2012

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,

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

• US taxpayers to subsidize the high cost and high liability for the
new units, while Southern Co. reaps the profits

• Green Party Speakers Bureau: Green leaders available to speak on
energy and related topics:

WASHINGTON, DC -- 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 (

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 ( "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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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


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