Do You Trust Your Skies to Texas Oversight?
(Picture courtesy of Greenpeace photostream, flickr.)
If you are okay with believing regulators in Texas are able to ward off nuclear accidents, just sit there. If not, you might want to file your take on that prospect with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
As I posted yesterday, the Loan Star State is already home to nuclear waste. Regulators are fine with putting the health of the public in the hands of profit oriented businesses with no record of responsibility for natural resources or public safety.
Those regulators are currently trying to shut EPA out of the state so industry has a free hand with the air in Texas. There is a nuclear power generator now in their care that will soon be permitted to increase capacity to four.
…CPS Energy, TEPCO, and potentially the Japanese government itself, were among investors lined up to fund expansion of the South Texas Project nuclear complex near Bay City. A partnership between NRG Energy, Toshiba, and federal contractor Shaw Group (in charge of maintenance at STP), were preparing to construct two advanced boiling water reactors (ABWR) at the South Texas Project nuclear complex where CPS already owns 40 percent of STP reactors 1 and 2. CPS Energy planned to invest 7.6 percent in proposed reactors 3 and 4, but the utility said on March 21 that it had indefinitely postponed talks with reactor owner NRG Energy.
“Terminating discussions with NRG allows us to devote more resources in pursuit of the other options,” said CPS Energy President and CEO Doyle Beneby. “When the development of STP 3 and 4 moves forward again, our present ownership interest will remain unchanged.”
In the meantime, San Antonio will continue drawing a large portion of its energy from STP’s 1 and 2 reactors. Those facilities, which came online in 1988 and 1989, also happen to be up for a 20-year renewal by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Without the renewal, the reactors would close in 2027 and 2028. April 1 is the deadline for the public to tell the NRC how it feels about the renewal, which, oddly enough, won’t take place for another 20 years.
The ongoing disaster in Japan has served as a sinister backdrop to consideration of construction by the powers that put together the Fukushima facility. Radioactivity from the accident there has been detected in Boston.
For many years, the State of Texas has fought back against safety regulations of all sort. This is not the kind of approach that should be addressing the new problems we now are seeing play out for nuclear power generation.
Our planet’s future depends on the action we take, or fail to take, today. What we are seeing play out now is the result of believing assurances that are more related to profit taking than to safety systems and their effectiveness. We can’t take a chance on believing the promises of those who’ve shown those promises mean only that they want us to fall for them again, and again.