DC Days 2011
Eleven members of Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions met with members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Department of Energy and Congress in Washington, DC this week to discuss high-risk DOE nuclear projects, especially those in the Southeast at Georgia’s Plant Vogtle and South Carolina’s Savannah River Site.
In a meeting with Dr. Inez Triay, Assistant Secretary of Environmental Management for the Department of Energy, Georgia WAND members from Shell Bluff, downstream from nuclear Plant Vogtle expressed their concerns about the lack of environmental monitoring in Georgia.
Dr. Triay assured them that it was an Environmental Management priority to restore environmental monitoring to the Georgia side of the Savanah River, something that the Department of Energy has not been funding for the past 6 years.
Georgia WAND members Lillie Wilson, Shirley Fields and Annie Laura Stephens in the Georgia delegation say they are deeply concerned about public health in their home county as well as the safety of the two new proposed reactors at Plant Vogtle, especially considering the threat of earthquakes as Georgia sits on a fault line.
“We are concerned about the safety factors regarding the two reactors that are located in Waynesboro,” Fields said. “We want to see what can be done for us for them to look at what’s going on with the environment, wildlife, the families and their health.”
Georgia WAND also highlights the danger of investing in this high risk form of energy and the resulting rate hikes Georgia Power ratepayers have already been faced with, as Georgia Power received $3.4 billion in loan guarantees from the U.S. government to build two new reactors at Plant Votgle.
The Georgia delegation, Annie Laura Stephens, Lillie Wilson, Shirley Fields, Dianne Valentin, Betsy Rivard, Susan Goodman, Cee Cee Anderson, Melanie Weniger, Emilia Kaiser, Courtney Hanson and Amanda Hill-Attkisson, worked with colleagues from a dozen other states who were in DC for the 23rd annual Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) "DC Days." The activists met with with over 80 Senators and Representatives, leaders of congressional committees that oversee nuclear issues, and key federal agency staffers to discuss these and other existing and proposed nuclear projects, which they say will waste billions in taxpayer funds, damage the environment and undermine the nation’s non-proliferation goals.