Triple the Fun at Shearon-Harris

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Coming on the heels of last month’s $65,000 NRC fine, Progress Energy continues to promote two more reactors at their Shearon-Harris site.

There are several unresolved issues involving Shearon-Harris that makes siting further reactors more than problematic. Until waste disposal, security, adequate fire protection, safe storage and a slew of other issues are dealt with, furthering a development proposal for Shearon-Harris makes no sense.

The NRC, the industry’s partners in the nuclear mess, is holding an initial public hearing Sept. 18th in Apex.

In preparation for the Progress Energy license application for Harris, the NRC has scheduled a public information meeting on Tuesday, September 18, at the New Horizons Fellowship at 820 E. Williams Street in Apex, NC. An open house will be held from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a NRC presentation at 7:00 p.m., after which the public will have an opportunity to ask questions. (A copy of the meeting notice is attached.)

Earlier posts on Progress Energy’s Shearon-Harris

The complete notice follows (more…)

Shearon-Harris: Fire in the Whole

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

It appears that Progress Energy has prevailed against local concerns the fire safety and overall security of their Shearon-Harris facility is less than adequate:

Progress Energy has cleared a hurdle in its bid to extend the operating license of the Shearon Harris nuclear plant by 20 years.

The Raleigh utility persuaded administrative law judges to reject safety concerns raised by nuclear critics who are challenging the license extension.

The groups want to litigate safety issues that the atomic board said fall outside the scope of a relicensing proceeding. Such proceedings are limited by law to reviewing a nuclear plant’s safety components and environmental impacts as the plant ages, the atomic board said.

N&O

I commented on NC Warn’s efforts in this recent post.

I’ve been following the mess at Shearon-Harris before the facility opened. Locally, our governments have to be concerned that this facility maintains the highest safety standards. For nearby communities – Pittsboro, Apex, Cary – the consequences of an accidental release present a devastating prospect. Closer to home, the economic and environmental reverberations would be significant.

The troubled NRCs role in this – their continued lack of oversight and willingness to bend what is in the best business interest of companies like Progress Energy – does not bode will for our community.

Luckily, local Representative David Price is aware of the fire safety issue and has promised to have the GAO look into the process to make sure the public good is well-served.

NCWARN to Shearon-Harris: Come on Baby Light My Fire! Not!

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Following up on my Sep. 2006 post “Shearon-Harris Offline: Who tripped over the wire?”, the North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network (NCWARN) is holding another public hearing Mar. 22nd, 2007 on the 14 years of fire violations at the Shearon-Harris nuclear plant.

FIRE VIOLATIONS AT SHEARON HARRIS NUCLEAR PLANT


Thursday, March 22nd, 7pm
The Barn at Fearrington Village
Google MAP
NC WARN: (919) 416-5077, www.ncwarn.org
15-501 between Pittsboro & Chapel Hill

Public Hearing: New
Information on        legal action against the NRC
 Hosted by NC Senators Ellie Kinnaird and Janet Cowell, and other public officials

 (More on event…Click Here)[PDF]


(More on Harris Fire Violations…Click Here) 


What risks are posed by Harris’ 14 years of noncompliance with federal fire regulations?
Fire is a leading risk factor for nuclear meltdown. When will Harris be in compliance?
Implications of January’s NRC decision to rely on fire mitigation instead of defense against air attacks at US nuclear plants.

From NCWARN’s report:

Fire represents up to 50% of the risk for catastrophic accidents in the U.S. nuclear power industry. That risk calculation assumes fire regulations are being obeyed. Fire can cause operators to lose control of the nuclear reactor and its complex safety systems, leading to overheating of the reactor fuel and large releases of radioactivity. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has allowed the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant in Wake County, NC, and others, to operate in clear violation of federal fire safety regulations put into place following a seven-hour fire at Alabama’s Browns Ferry plant in 1975, where only heroic action and sheer luck averted a catastrophic radiation accident.

Harris has been in violation of federal fire regulations since at least 1992, and ranks worst in the nation in at least two critical fire safety criteria. At Shearon Harris, commitments to correct the fire vulnerabilities have been made, then ignored, in a cycle of endless delay over the years, even as more violations continue to be discovered. A 2005 inspection became at least the 10th time Harris reported new violations, adding to a list totaling scores of unprotected components needed to safely shut down and cool the reactor in the event of a plant fire. Shearon Harris has already had several fires in its 19 years. One, called a “major fire” by an industry publication, was caused by an electrical short. It required 30 firefighters, and caused a plant outage lasting for weeks.

Sally, Kirk and Shearon-Harris

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Following up on my post Shearon-Harris Offline: Who Tripped Over the Wire?, I’d like to direct your attention to two of our wonderful local ‘bloggers.

Sally Greene has two great posts on the Shearon-Harris nuke plant safety issues and the resulting spin.

First, FAIRWarning

Tonight I went to the briefing in Pittsboro on the Shearon Harris nuclear power plant, its serious and repeated fire safety violations, and the legal action that was taken today by NC WARN, the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, and the Union of Concerned Scientists to seek an emergency enforcement action from the NRC.

Second, today’s absolutely wonderful deconstruction of Progress Energy’s spin, in Shearon Harris: beneath the spin

In response to this week’s events, the community relations manager of Progress Energy was kind enough to write yesterday in an effort to persuade me that the Shearon Harris plant is safe and law-abiding. But I am sorry: this version doesn’t fit the facts. Here is Mr. Clayton’s memo, annotated by Pete MacDowell of NC WARN.

The sharply observant Kirk Ross (Exile, Cape Fear Mercury) follows the money in his post from Exile on Jones Street (why “on”?) titled Duke wants you to pay for a plant they may never build

Duke Energy and Southern are working on a new Nuke project in Cherokee County S.C. No permits have been issued, no construction work on the plant has started. They won’t even submit a request to the NRC for another year at the earliest. In fact, the plan is for the plant not to be online until 2016. Then, there’s the whole idea that a new nuke is really going to happen. Some folks like ‘em. Some folks don’t. Some folks really, really don’t.

Shearon-Harris Offline: Who tripped over the wire?

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

Local Progress Energy nuke plant Shearon-Harris went unexpectedly offline (or in nuke industry jargon “had an unplanned outage”) this morning:

Progress Energy’s Shearon Harris nuclear plant shut down today at about 10 a.m., in the first unplanned outage this year.

The nuclear plant, about 25 miles southwest of Raleigh, turned itself off automatically when the plant’s generator stopped working. Plant personnel are trying to determine the cause of the malfunction.

N&O

Progress Energy continues to have legal, technical and regulatory problems with Shearon-Harris and other operations, including whistle-blowing by security guards, issues with their plan to build additional on-site capacity (reactors) and, of course, the wondrous new over-charging meter fiasco.

Incredible timing as tomorrow (Sept. 20th), NCWarn, our local safe-nuke activists, are holding a meeting on Shearon-Harris’ fire violations.

Community Briefing
Emergency Action on Fire
Violations at Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant   

Wednesday. Sept 20, 7 pm
Central Carolina Community College,
Multi-purpose Room, Hwy 64 West, Pittsboro


Click here for more information [PDF]

Is it safe yet?

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Chernobyl Disaster – with Lessons for the Triangle

When: Wednesday, April 26th, 7 to 9 pm
Where:
McDougle Middle School,
900 Fayetteville Rd., Carrboro
Hosted by NC WARN:
Click here for more info

Images from NC-WARN and 180mph.com

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