Local activists speak out against Duke Energy’s plan for more nuclear power

Here’s the press release from the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League:


Today at a press conference in Asheville activists revealed that Duke Energy has requested approval of over $300 million in pre-construction costs to the North Carolina Utilities Commission. In testimony today before the commission, activists presented the February 1 filing by the company for its Lee Nuclear Station in South Carolina as evidence.

In her sworn testimony to the commission, Laura Sorensen, spokesperson for SAFE Carolinas, said, “If we take a look at the cost overruns and construction delays at the new reactor installations in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia, it is obvious the Lee nuclear plant’s estimated construction costs of $24 billion will only increase through its ten or more years of construction time.” Sorensen’s figure included costs for licensing, preconstruction and site preparation. Noting that Duke has not received license approval and construction has not begun, she added, “Let’s not forget ratepayers are liable for the cost even if the plant stops construction and never produces an ounce of electricity.”

SAFE Carolinas also spoke about the negative health impacts. For example, they said that parents and children who survived the nuclear disaster in Fukushima live under a constant shadow of fear because 44% of the 96,000 children tested have thyroid cysts and nodules due to radiation exposure.

SAFE Carolinas’ message to the NC Utilities Commission requested that they deny Duke Energy’s request for more nuclear power. The group submitted findings about corporate welfare, waste and pollution, and asked that the Commission not ignore the many who took the time to travel from Asheville to Charlotte to speak.

SAFE Carolinas, a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, organized a caravan of activists opposing expensive and wasteful sources of electric power. Many of them testified today at the NC Utilities Commission public hearing on the 15-year statewide Integrated Resource Plan held in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse in Charlotte.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.