- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
A major power company has chosen a site to place a new nuclear power plant, but still faces staunch resistance from several environmental and anti-nuclear groups.
Progress Energy announced a plan to look at locating a new facility at an existing nuclear power site near Raleigh, N.C. The process would take years to complete as an application would not be expected to arrive at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) until late 2007. Construction would start in 2010 and the system would likely not come on line until 2016.
Unlike conventional power plants, nuclear plants emit no greenhouse gases. However, according to the North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, and the Washington-based Union for Concerned Scientists, the company has not as yet demonstrated it can effectively handle the immense responsibilities inherent in nuclear power production. The groups filed a complaint with the NRC alleging that security guards at the existing plant worked while injured, slept during their shifts, cheated on licensing tests and some security equipment was in disrepair.
According to company officials, the NRC recently conducted its on-site inspection and found no problems that required immediate action. Although the company had not, by publication, received the comprehensive report from the agency, Progress Energy said they believe the existing plant to be safe. It has been about 30 years since the last nuclear plant was built, largely due to citizen opposition.