Alachua County Green Party

Progress Energy plans to build two new nuclear plants in Levy County

Progress Energy has announced plans to build two new nuclear plants in Levy County. Public Citizen has a good summary with links. Read the update on the Green Party challenge to Progress Energy's application for a license to build the nuclear plants and read the latest article about our intervention in the St. Petersburg Times--excerpt below. View Gainesville Sun articles, "GRU says no to Levy nuclear plant deal" and "Locals hear plan for nuke plant."  Listen to Helen Caldicott's recent talk about nuclear power on EarthBeat radio. Download Arjun Makhijani's book Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy here. Go to our GreenLinks page for more resources under Green Energy and Green Jobs.

Progress Energy's proposed Levy County nuke plant hits another roadblock

St. Petersburg Times

July 9th, 2009  Progress Energy's plans for its new Levy County nuclear plant hit another potential roadblock Wednesday when an arm of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled that the Green Party of Florida and two other groups can challenge the plant's federal permit.

In a 112-page ruling, the NRC's Atomic Licensing Board found that the Green Party and its allies had successfully raised "certain major issues" about the plant's environmental impact that deserve a full-fledged legal hearing with oral arguments.

One issue: The utility has yet to figure out where it will send the new plant's radioactive waste, and thus may have to store it on site longer than expected.   Read the full article in the St. Petersburg Times 


Green Party Challenge to Nuclear Plant License Upheld

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."


Alachua County Green Party Resolves to File Intervention with NRC


Opposing the Construction of Nuclear Power Plants in Florida, and
Supporting Investment in Solar, Wind and Clean Renewable EnergySolutions
January 22, 2009

Nuclear power generation has been proven to be uneconomical, dangerous topublic health and safety, and environmentally unsustainable. The economic and ecological risks associated with the entire nuclear power fuel cycle are vast and incalculable, especially given the extremely long term costs of safeguarding thenuclear wastes produced by nuclear plants.

The rapid technological advancement of solar and large-scale 
wind energy technologies, combined with proactive energy efficiency and conservation measures, have made fossil fuel and nuclear energy technologies obsolete and unnecessary. Without loan guarantees, tax breaks and public subsidies, these industries would not remain viable.

For these and other reasons, the Alachua County Green Party supports energy policies based on investment in the rapid development of solar and wind energy, and all other proven renewable energy solutions, combined with a comprehensive program promoting energy efficiency and conservation. 

For these and other reasons, the Alachua County Green Party stands firmly opposed to all plans for construction of new nuclear power facilities in the state of Florida, including the new Progress Energy nuclear power facility in Levy County.  

The Alachua County Green Party hereby authorizes its officers and members to join with the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) in filing an intervention with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the permitting process for the Progress Energy nuclear power facility in Levy County, challenging with a formal contention one or more elements in the application submitted by Progress Energy. The said intervention is to be filed by the deadline of February 6, 2009 which is imposed by NRC rules.

Action approved by consensus of the Alachua County Green Party
meeting on January 20, 2009
[signed] Michael Canney, co-chair
[signed] Shawna Doran, co-chair

Gainesville voters reject Amendment 1 to City Charter

Gainesville voters turned out in record numbers to defeat the ballot measure that would have amended the city charter to prohibit the city from protecting the civil rights of any person not already covered under the Civil Rights Law of the State of Florida. Read the March 25, 2009 Gainesville Sun article "Opponents of Amendment 1 celebrate their big victory."

Local Greens in the News

Alachua County Green Party member, and Gainesville Sun guest columnist Jerry Rose, suggests we have more than two tracks to choose from in "Off on the wrong track?" in the October 25, 2008 Gainesville Sun.