The Amy H Remley Foundation  

July 11, 2009

Florida Green Party Press Release re: Levy Nukes

Green Party Granted Standing in Legal Challenge to Levy Nuclear Plant License Contentions in Petition to Intervene Ruled Admissible by Atomic Safety Licensing Board Panel.

Progress Energy Florida's proposal to build a new dual-reactor nuclear power plant in Levy County was challenged in February when the Green Party of Florida (GPF) joined with the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) and the Ecology Party to file a Petition to Intervene in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's licensing process for PEF's Construction and Operating License Application.

On Wednesday July 8, after months of deliberation, a three-judge Atomic Safety Licensing Board panel issued a 112-page order ruling that the Petitioners had submitted valid and admissible "contentions" regarding the proposed plant's environmental impact that deserve a legal hearing.

"Radioactive waste produced by this plant will be stored on the site indefinitely," said Shawna Doran, co-chair of the Alachua County Green Party and a co-petitioner in the action. "We're claiming that the utility's application is deficient in addressing this serious problem." One of the contentions ruled admissible by the ASLB relates to the storage of waste on the site.

Other contentions ruled admissible concern the project's impact on wetlands, the underground aquifer and the Withlacoochee River, and the impact of salt contamination on the remaining wetlands. Millions of gallons of saltwater will be pumped from the Cross Florida Barge Canal every day to cool the plant, where a third of it evaporates before the salty remainder is pumped into an area adjacent to the Big Bend Aquatic Seagrasses Preserve.

The ASLB panel agreed with the Petitioners that these contentions should receive a full hearing before the NRC, and the July 8 ruling is the first step in that process.

The Green Party calls upon Progress Energy Florida to abandon this foolhardy proposal to construct a new nuclear power plant in rural Levy County, where irreversible damage will be done to local ecosystems, and radioactive wastes will be produced that remain deadly for a million years. Greens urge PEF to invest instead in building a super-efficient "green energy grid" that will accommodate clean, renewable power generation technologies.

The Green Party calls upon state legislators to repeal the Early Cost Recovery Act, which is a form of state-sanctioned extortion that allows a private utility company to force its customers to invest in a project that private investors reject as too risky. "If private utilities seek public funds to construct new power generating capacity, then the public should have a voice in how our funds are invested," said Gabriela Waschewsky, a Green Party member in Gainesville who lives within a 50-mile radius of the proposed plant and is a co-petitioner in the legal challenge. "The Levy Nuclear Plant is a $20 billion boondoggle that should be scrapped now, before more money is wasted on this risky and obsolete technology."

For more information:
Green Party of Florida
Alachua County Green Party
Nuclear Information and Resource Service

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