Women. Power. Peace.

PSC Chairman, Southern Company fail to address Vogtle safety concerns

For Immediate Release

October 29, 2012


Courtney Hanson



Public Service Commission Chair Tim Echols along with Southern Company representatives spoke at Georgia Tech this morning at a conference about what they deem the 'nuclear renaissance'.

“Im proud that Georgia and South Carolina are leading the way in the nuclear renaissance,” Echols said, calling thr area the Silicon Valley of nuclear before mentioning the Fukushima disaster and the low price of natural gas as hindrances to nuclear expansion.

Both Echols and Cheri Collins, Southern Company’s General Manager and External Affairs Liaison for Nuclear Operations and Development touted the safety of nuclear reactors, especially those under construction at Plant Vogtle, near Augusta.

When pressed, Collins said the AP 1000 reactors at Vogtle will incorporate “many of the (safety) things the NRC is asking operating plants to have.”

But Collins failed to mention that the AP1000 does not incorporate safety lessons learned from Fukushima into the design. Atlanta-based Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions, along with seven other environmental groups are suing Southern Nuclear Operating Co and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission because of this lack of safety oversight.

“The industry wants us to think that the reactors are safe, but they have not taken all the necessary precautions for predictable disasters” Bobbie Paul, Georgia WAND Executive Director said. “It is irresponsible for our elected officials and for Southern Company to pretend they have.”

The legal case, which asserts that the National Environmental Protection Act has been violated by Refusing to Supplement the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement with new and significant information before issuing the combined operating licenses for Voglte 3 and 4 or the AP 1000 reactor environmental assessment, will be heard in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on November 19.

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