Hello, nuke!

Would you like to live just 60 miles from a nuclear reactor that could shatter "like a glass cup?"

You may have that opportunity if you're an Asheville-area resident and the proposed William States Lee III Nuclear Plant near Gaffney Units 1 and 2 is allowed to be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a decision that could be just around the corner unless the public acts now by letting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission know just how dangerous the Westinghouse AP1000 Nuclear Reactor could be.

Check out this quote from Massachusetts Rep. Edward J. Markey, a top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee and senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee: “Today, the NRC has presented its holiday gifts to the nuclear industry. Instead of doing all they should to protect nuclear reactors against seismically induced ground acceleration, these commissioners voted to approve the acceleration of reactor construction. While they continue to slow walk the implementation of recommendations of the NRC professional staff’s Near-Term Task Force on Fukushima, they have fast-tracked construction of a reactor whose shield building could ‘shatter like a glass cup’ if impacted by an earthquake or other natural or man-made impact.”

Nevertheless four of the members of the NRC voted to approve the final rule for the Westinghouse reactor's design in opposition to the commission's chairman, who voted against the approval. This reactor is the one to be used for the Gaffney plant that Duke Power has its sights on. Duke customers have a right and an obligation to speak out against this plant and others, most of which are being sited for construction in Southeastern states.

Submit comments by March 6 to: Chief, Rulemaking and Directives Branch, Office of Administration, Main Stop: TWB-05-B01M, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C., 20555-0001; lee.colais@nrc.gov (always reference document or put on subject line: "76 FR 79228, Dec. 21, 2011"); or 301-492-3446 (fax). To participate in the public meeting on Jan. 19, join in the car pools going there by contacting Laura Sorensen at 545-4443 or lsredoak@gmail.com.

— Rachael Bliss
Asheville

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