BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE www.bredl.org
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
BREDL NEWS


 

BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE
PO Box 88 ~ Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 ~ Phone (336) 982-2691 ~ Fax (336) 982-2954 ~ Email: BREDL@skybest.com


PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2010


CONTACTS:
Louis Zeller (336) 982-2691
Gretel Johnson 256-574-1745


BELLEFONTE WOULD THREATEN TENNESEE VALLEY
GROUPS FIGHTING TVA NUKES ADVANCE TO NEXT STEP

This week the groups opposing TVA’s nuclear power plants detailed the unacceptable risks of rebuilding two unfinished plants at Bellefonte. In the wake of a split decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approving lapsed construction permits, the groups detailed recent problems of corrosion and a containment structure failure. In a legal brief filed Monday by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, the groups stated that the recent accident and prior history “point to further problems at Bellefonte if the Commission were to allow the completion of the virtually moth-eaten 35-year old reactors following years of salvage operations and lack of maintenance and oversight.”

The event which triggered the latest concerns was a “containment vertical tendon coupling failure” in the Bellefonte Unit 1 nuclear reactor in August of 2009. Tendons are steel structures which tie the reactor vessel to the plant foundation. TVA reported the incident in December and is investigating the cause of the failure. This week the League submitted evidence to the NRC of similar failures at Bellefonte dating back three decades.

Louis Zeller, Science Director for the League, said, “The Commission’s recent decision to re-instate the construction permits overlooked important safety issues which pose an unacceptable risk to the people of Tennessee and Alabama.”

Gretel Johnson, a resident of Scottsboro, has followed the case closely. She said, “How could they even consider putting a nuclear power plant with dangerous radiation in a location that’s unstable.” Observing the NRC’s vote on the permit, she said, “I was born and raised here and I feel obligated to stop them from building this thing.”

Zeller noted that the NRC’s vote was not unanimous, indicating disagreement within the agency. He added, “We plan to convince the NRC that the Bellefonte nuclear power station should be moth-balled.”

The NRC’s vote to re-instate the permit cleared the way for the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board to consider the seven safety and environmental issues raised by the League in their May 2009 petition to intervene. In addition to the League, petitioners include the Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

-end-

More info.: View BREDL's latest legal filing | BREDL's Bellefonte webpage